A group of teens sign up for an assassination game on the streets of a big city. Their weapons: pressurized water guns. It's meant to be a game, a sport. But for some it's more than harmless fun. To win, they'll use any means necessary.
Two hundred players. Three weeks of tense cat-and-mouse action. Every stalker is being stalked and only one player will be left standing. No one will be the same.
Through multiple points of view, Harry Edge puts readers right into the middle of the action - watch your back! (from back cover)
It's been a long time since I've read any action novels. Actually, I don't think I've read that many action novels at all, since I'm not a big fan of action movies. But I really liked Spray and it's thrilling and fast-paced plot.
It's sort of my life goal to play the game Assassin, and hopefully while I'm at college someone will get the game going. For those who don't know, Assassin is kind of like tag, but you have a target and you are also someone else's target. There's different variations, and in Spray you have to spray your opponent with a water gun.
If the game Spray came to my city, I would definitely want to play. However, since it's city-wide, it's pretty likely you won't know your target, and a lot of time is spent staking them out, trying to hit them in valid locations (for example, you can't spray someone in transportation or while they are at work). I don't know how well this game would work in real life, because you get the home and work address of your target and to me that's a little creepy. But I suspended my disbelief and really got into the action.
Spray is a little confusing, because they are a ton of different points-of-view, and I started to forget who was who and who was after who. You also don't get any in-depth characterizations of any of the characters, which could be a minus to those who like character-driven novels. By the end it's a little better, but I understood why the author wrote it this way, so the reader could see a lot of things going on at once. And you really do get sucked into the book. I was reading this in the library waiting for my next class, and when I got up to leave I started looking around and felt like I was in the game myself.
There's also this interesting backdrop that the country is in a major drought and it's becoming a world-wide problem. Ironically, the players are still playing Spray with water guns. I thought this theme would have been really cool if it was explored more, however the author left it in the background.
I would recommend Spray for fans of action and thriller books/movies, because it has a fast-paced plot. This book isn't a masterpiece by any means, but it's definitely a fun read if you're in the mood for a lot of action.
Rating: 7 out of 10.
FTC: reviewed through the Henry Holt InGroup program.
2010/Feiwel and Friends/228 pages.