Top critical review
People who do not want to hear political views buy books too
Reviewed in the United States on February 28, 2021
First, writing this review is not easy for me because Neal is my favorite author. I love most of his work. This "book," however, is not a novel, it's pure liberal propaganda. Even if that is a person's political views, I hope that many of us can agree, that when we picked up Neal's work, we just wanted to read a good story.
Neal never made his political views a secret, and that is OK. When done right, Neal can make a great point about our world when it is not in your face and makes you think. A good example of that is the beloved character CyFy and his dads from Unwind. Well done. In contrast, a bad prior example is Captain Jeri from Scythe - where there were many "in your face" explanations about Jeri's choices. Those were unnecessary. However, in Scythe, it was forgivable because Jeri was a good character, and it seems obvious that Neal went back in to add-in in these unnecessary sentences to make a point.
In contrast, Game Changer feels like Neal started not with a story line, but with a liberal checklist, and crafted a makeshift story around it. White privilege, check. Police brutality, yep, check. Throw in every letter of LGBTQ++, the #meToo movement, criminal justice reform, immigration, the evils of capitalism, and I am sure I am forgetting a few checkboxes from the notepad he must have started with.
To rephrase, I do not have a problem with Neal having a political view on these subjects. I agree with some, and disagree with others. And that is OK. But what is not OK, is that I get this from a YA novel, from my favorite author, when all I want to do is escape the every day news where I hear all the things Neal is writing on!!!
I think maybe Neal should take the advice of the lead character of this book. Advice that does not require him to hit his head or to make the "ultimate sacrifice" to get. Go back to your origins. Everlost, Unwind, Dry, Scythe, etc. That was your "perfect" world.