Book Review: Tag, You're Dead by J.C. Lane

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Title - Tag, You're Dead
Author - J.C. Lane
Publication Date - July 5th 2016
Publisher - Poisoned Pen Press
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by author via NetGalley)

Six young people play a dangerous Game of Tag in public, chasing through the crowds, streets, and buildings of Chicago. This secret, one-of-a-kind, wildly expensive Game offers a macabre twist to the childhood version if you get Tagged, you get Dead. 

Three "Its" have their reasons for buying a place in the Game. Surgically enhanced Brandy is obsessed with destroying a naturally beautiful girl. Untalented Robert covets his target's position as superstar of the basketball team. Brainiac Charles craves a battle against an intellectual equal. Given their elite social status, they reject any possible downside to the contest. Each expects the satisfaction of killing their prey, then walking away. Hand-picked innocents play as Runners, under threat to their loved ones should they refuse to participate: lovely, small-town Laura; celebrated athlete Tyrese; and Amanda, gamer extraordinaire. 

Alone, hunted by their adversary, each feels a single hope to survive. Technological wizardry controls the Game. As soon as Runners receive the Go signal on smartwatches locked to their wrists, the Game rockets them through the city, from the El to Michigan Avenue to the Lincoln Park Zoo. There is no time to rest. Every thirty minutes the Runner s location is transmitted to the It, which steadily diminishes the Runner s chance of ever reaching Home Base alive. 

The Game will not end until someone is Tagged, so the Runners must choose how to play. Will they accept death? Murder their Its? Or find a way to use individual strengths to stop the Game before anyone dies?

First of all, I'd like to thank the author J.C.Lane for getting in contact with me in regards to reading and reviewing Tag, You're Dead. I absolutely loved the premise of this book. It sounded exciting, fresh and not forgetting incredibly creative. I'm certain I haven't read a book quite like this one before and I couldn't wait to see what was in store for me. I loved the look of the cover and the blurb had me wondering how, exactly, the author would deliver such a story to the reader. It didn't take me long to find out as I was very eager to begin.

In J.C. Lane's Tag, You're Dead, we're taken back to the world of playground antics, only this time, it's a lot more sinister than merely shouting, "Tag! You're it!". In this money and power-ruled version of the game, the author brings to light three 'runners' and three 'its'. As you've probably worked out, three are on the run, and the other three are on the chase. Before we've even really ventured any further into this story, the identities of these people are delivered to us via J.C. Lane's fantastic descriptions, alongside the reasons behind their participation. Whether that be jealousy, spite, anger or pure greed, there is a fuel behind each of them that has them racing towards home-base. For some, death is the penalty if they don't beat their opponent. I suppose it all depends on how wealthy that person is, and their what their motive really is.

The pacing of Tag, You're Dead was absolutely spot-on for this thrilling read. It was quick, easy to follow, yet incredibly exciting to see where the author would take me next. Switching from one character to the other, from 'runner' to 'it', I was kept on my toes and desperate to figure out how the whole game would end. I was intrigued by each of the characters presented to me, and enjoyed figuring out how I felt about each of them in turn. Some I liked, some I hated, some I just couldn't stand which, all in all, made for a brilliant mix of people who carried the plot along. I was kept entertained by the characters' contrasting lifestyles, their unique personalities and separate friendships, and really wanted them all to come through okay on the other side.

As for the plot, it was action-packed, gripping, and kept me turning those pages. It was a race against time which only made me hurry onwards towards the finish line. What I loved most about Tag, You're Dead by J.C. Lane though, was how fantastically original the premise of the novel was. It definitely put a new spin on the much-loved game of Tag, anyway.

All in all, Tag, You're Dead by J.C. Lane was fresh, exciting and something completely brand-new. I can't thank the author enough for requesting a review for her novel from Becca's Books, and I will certainly be keeping an eye out for more books from J. C. Lane in the future. Becca's Books is awarding Tag, You're Dead by J. C. Lane with four of my bookish stars. If you're looking for something completely new and exciting, then I would definitely recommend this. A game like no other, and the stakes couldn't be any higher than each other's lives.

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