Dominance: A Novel by Will Lavender
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dominance is not what I expected it to be. I was afraid I’d be reading a gruesome tale of an ax-murdering serial killer, but that’s not really what this book is about. It’s about a game, specifically literature as a game. It’s a game based on the works of a writer whose identity is unknown. When a literature class is brought together to study the works of this unknown author, their assignment is to use clues from the books to discover the writer’s identity. Their professor is a convicted killer whose guilt is also called into question during the course of the class. The game continues long after the class is over, and just as some mysteries appear to be solved, others begin. What are intriguing about this book are its intricacies and puzzles. It reminded me somewhat of the Da Vinci code because of the embedding of codes, clues and maps throughout. Even when I figured out the whodunit part of the story, I learned I didn’t really know what I thought I did. The book’s ending leaves the reader questioning everything they thought they knew about the characters. How many of them were still playing the game and will the game ever really end? Although it starts a little slow, Dominance is a fascinating novel that the reader will still be pondering long after reading the last page. Note: I received an advance reading copy from Goodreads compliments of Simon and Schuster in return for my review.
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“Lavender is Houdini-level dexterous at the sleight-of-verb necessary to keep the reader guessing, doubting, perplexed and attentive throughout the book.” Thane Tierney for BookPage
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