DNF Review: The Galaxy Game

Author: Karen Lord 
Date of Publication: January 6 2015
Pages: 336
Source: NetGalley- thank you!

For years, Rafi Delarua saw his family suffer under his father's unethical use of psionic power. Now the government has Rafi under close watch, but, hating their crude attempts to analyse his brain, he escapes to the planet Punartam, where his abilities are the norm, not the exception. Punartam is also the centre for his favourite sport, wallrunning - and thanks to his best friend, he has found a way to train with the elite. But Rafi soon realises he's playing quite a different game, for the galaxy is changing; unrest is spreading and the Zhinuvian cartels are plotting, making the stars a far more dangerous place to aim. There may yet be one solution - involving interstellar travel, galactic power and the love of a beautiful game. 


The Galaxy Game is a book set in the same universe as Karen Lord's The Best of All Possible Worlds. It's not necessarily a sequel, but a companion, and I didn't know about this fact when I started reading The Galaxy Game.

This was my introduction to Lord's writing, and I was lost. Completely, utterly confused. The world building was not accessible to someone that had no experience with the world. There was so much going on and I was confused from the first Kobo page all the way up to Kobo page 80 out of 250 before I realized the odds of suddenly understanding what was happening were dim.

From the bits I can parse out, the world is fascinating and creative. It's very comprehensive with many different names and characters. The execution of explaining all this was extremely poor. It makes sense if this book was meant for people that read The Best of All Possible Worlds, but through the synopsis I never received any indication that this book couldn't be read on its own, which is why the horrible explanations matter.

To understand The Galaxy Game, I would have to go back and reread every part about the different cultures. The names were hard to spell and sound, and I had a difficult time remembering who was who. The story of the planets was incomprehensible. Every time they talked about certain cartels and certain people from certain tribes, I was confused. I do believe it is possible to understand the world of The Galaxy Game, although not without a great deal of effort that I was unwilling to give it.

I'm very surprised to say that through 80 pages, very little occurred. The characters, except Delarua, Rafi, and Serendipity, never distinguished themselves to me. Part of that is the writing style, again. It's written to be dramatic and intriguing, so it is not straightforward. A character will do something and I won't know why until its done. The relevance of the first scene is lost on me, as are concepts like "the cap", whatever the Lyceum is for, and more.

I hate that I DNFed this story because I love the synopsis. I got the the part where Rafi was about to leave for Punartam. It seems like the story was supposed to pick up from there, but I can't justify continuing to read a story I am so lost in. Maybe if there was some sort of background guide, I would be able to understand this world more, because I have never been more lost in a story. The writing style is not one I like, and it's for that I've ultimately decided that there's no point trying to continue.

Clarity is usually something I take for granted when I read, but it's only when delving into a grand sci-fi that it becomes clear how important it is. The Galaxy Game's explanations for what was happening were not clear to me, and frankly, I didn't feel like rereading the text like I do with my college readings, so it was a DNF.



  1. Oh no! I have this one to read and review. I think this is the second DNF review I've seen.

    1. Well, maybe you'll like it better, and then you can kind of push me into giving this another shot? :p


  2. I was a lil curious about this one but I guess if I want to give a try to this world, I'll go for the first book and see how it is!
    Thanks for the very honest review P.E.!

    1. Yeah, I think that would be best. :)



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