Friday, July 4, 2014

Black Chalk (Christopher J. Yates)

I had high hopes for Black Chalk; you would think that a book with "One game. Six students. Five survivors." on the cover would at least be a little heart-pounding.  But alas, I found myself trying to "get through" this novel rather than enjoying it.

The premise is really exciting, which is why I was anxious to pick this up.  While in college, six classmates begin a seemingly innocent game, where the loser of each round must perform a consequence.  Each consequence gets harder and harder as the game progresses, with reputations, family loyalty, and eventually danger and death on the line.  The game ultimately comes to a head between the final two players left standing, with an ending that really makes no sense.

Even through constant going back and forth between time periods, Yates does a nice job of keeping the story together and plot holes are few, if any. However, none of the characters are particularly likable, and I really didn't care much about the game's outcome.  Black Chalk has an interesting premise, but the execution is a little weak.