Sunday, November 1, 2015

"Show Time" by Phil Harvey

" Do you think they'll do it?" Janice McNeeley said. She was staring a the #12 monitor. Jimmy Asaki looked up. "Yes," he said. They're starving......."

Picture where our world is headed. We, the viewing audience, spend an enormous amount of time watching reality television. Welcome to the future. Where money and high ratings are driving these television executives to come out with some ultimate adventure for the viewer. 

Seven people are going to be left on Peshekee Island in the middle of Lake Superior, which is wired for sound and cameras for the public's viewing pleasure. Everything they say and do will be watched on television for the next seven months. A $400,000.00 prize is at stake. That is if they can refrain from asking for help and survive each other. Reality t.v. and human survival. How far is too far? 

Meet the contestants: purposely picked for their problems and personalities with the hopes they'll be true to their nature and provide a good show. 

Ambrose- the 25 year old, married gambler. If he doesn't win his daughters life is at stake. 
Maureen- red head with a bad reputation for being easy with the men. 
Ashai - 40's the athletic photographer with the hard edges
Rudy- athletic, but hiding behind his ethnicity so people won't see the real him. 
Cecily -  who came to the game overweight, married with a daughter she doesn't deserve. 
Valentin - loaner, 19 years old, actor, easy target with secrets that could be their undoing. 
Ivan- former navy seal, crazy but reliable. 

The story even starts off with a shocking scene from day 198. Monitored by the world. People questioning will they or won't they. Well they do and they will. Then we jump back to day 1 and where it all began. Riveting from the first chapter you almost don't want to believe it. But then again, if you were on an island starving to death how far would you go?

We're not talking just a summer on an island. We're talking a winter where the temps are going to fall fifteen to twenty degrees below zero. Skills in camping, hiking, hunting and outdoor life is going to predict who survives or who doesn't. Or will it? Maybe someone is so intent on winning the money that anything goes. Of course they've been sent in with two guns and such different personalities. Bent on conflict so that the audience will enjoy the fight to survive among them. 

We follow each of them as they team up and separate. As they build their nests and look for food. As they eye each other and question everything about one another. Will they go so far to steal food from each other? Will they purposely start conflicts to keep the eyes on others and off of them and their behavior?

We learn about where each of them come from. What they're up against. What kind of people they are. How and why they came to be on this island. Everyone has a unique story to tell. 

Maybe the contestants have something secret up their sleeves. Something to cure their boredom and ignite their audience. After all if the audience loves them it could lead to all kinds of offers when they get home. They found an area and removed the spyware making it their very own secret place.

But while they're making their own plans about how things should go the producers back home are worried about their ratings and what is happening on the island. Unethical behavior can be found anywhere when it comes to money and the shows success. Some truly shocking moments here.

I was unable to stop reading this book from the minute I started the first chapter. Well written with continued twists throughout the story. I was so surprised by the first chapter alone that I just had to see where this was going. I enjoyed the characters. They felt real and with similar shows on television these days any one of these characters could have been a real person.  Horrifying and creepy. Welcome to paradise. Who wins? Who lives? Who dies? Are there no limits? What would you do for $400,000.00? 

Thank you to Netgalley and Lost Coast Press for the A.R.C. 

                                           Buy "Show Time" by Phil Harvey on Amazon: click here!