“The Games”, by Claire Carver-Dias, is an engrossing story of a group of Olympic hopefuls that are training for their chance to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games. There is also one disaffected individual who is training for something more sinister at the opening ceremonies.
The novel contains a fairly large cast of characters: Brent, a rower who is merciless in his training. Yasmine, a runner recovering from an injury and married to Nate, who is the Canadian women’s basketball team coach. Jayna, a basketball player who Nate is abusing. Andrea, a kayaker who’s team mate died. And Sam, the disaffected brother of Brent who becomes involved with an activist with an agenda. There are still more, but these are the main characters.
Each character is developed in it’s own chapters. Carver-Dias, an Olympic athlete herself, describes the sheer determination and guts it takes to compete at that level and what that can do to an athlete’s psyche. Some of the characters are more fully developed than others and as a result you care more about what happens to them.
The side story of Sam and how he ends up totally enthralled with the activist, Ellis and how he is willing to do anything to get his approval is chilling and quite disturbing. It’s easy to see how someone like that can end up off the rails.
Overall it was a good story. The ending left me a little flat. It felt like there were loose ends. Take a chance and see what you think.