Publication Date: March 26, 2012
In Viral Games by Jan Smolders, Anita Tavares, a high-level official in the fight against AIDS, is killed shortly after getting off a plane in the Dominican Republic. Her bags are taken. Was she killed for her money and valuables or something else her bags might contain? The investigation takes us deep into the corrupt world of relief agencies.
The publisher, iUniverse, provided me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
Viral Games has the feel of a non-fiction read. This reader wondered if the point of the novel was as much to bring AIDS/HIV information and awareness to a public that might not have all of the information necessary to bring them into the relief effort. The organization in the novel, for all of its corruption, was clearly doing very good and needed work.
Viral Games had an English as a second language feel in its narrative, dialogue and writing style. The author currently lives in Florida but has lived all over the world. Very few of the characters originated from English speaking countries so the other-worldly feeling was logical but also served, in partnership with the present tense writing style, in further detaching this reader from the narrative. In short, I never connected with the novel or any of the characters.
I do believe that there’s a market for this sort of socially responsible novel. The reader will think about the plight of the AIDS victim and the need for treatment in areas where treatment might not always be accessible. Smolders’ characters give back. The author knows his subject and shows it in the narrative.
If you enjoy novels that educate the reader on subjects that are talked about but not in the deep and meaningful way experienced in [easyazon-link asin=”146977920X” locale=”us”]Viral Games[/easyazon-link], this is the novel for you.