Contest Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Contest

MD Stephen Swain is just a regular guy caught up in an unbelievable situation. In the middle of a telephone call to his friend he is teleported to the New York State Library where an intergalactic battle is going on.
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He has a device on his wrist that when removed will self-destruct and the entire perimeter of the library including all exits has been electrified. The rules of the contest are simple, he must be the last man standing or else he cannot leave alive.

But there are six other contestants from other planets who have each been put in the same desperate situtation and will do anything to win inluding cheating to come out the victor.
The review of this Book prepared by Matthew Schafer

In the book CONTEST, Stephen Swain, a scientist, is transported to the new york state library, followed by six other alien beings. The library is then sealed and will not be released until only one of them is left alive.
The review of this Book prepared by Saxon

Dunne, Mar 2003, 24.95, 336 pp.
ISBN: 0312286252

Radiologist Dr. Stephen Swain and his elementary school aged daughter Holly are in their Long Island home relaxing after a day at the hospital and school respectfully. However, aliens feel the widower will make a good participant in their cross species death contest based on Stephen's efforts that ended a violent problem. The ETs teleport Stephen and Holly to the New York 42nd Street Public Library to play in a deadly game of survivor.

The rules are simple: win or die. Seven species will compete until only one is left standing to confront the Karandon, a killing machine who has carved up the library security guard. Escape is impossible as a deadly electrical field encloses the building and immovable wrist bands will incinerate any of the contestants. Let the games begin.

The reader needs to move past technologically advanced aliens hosting deadly games sort of like an intergalactic Roman Forum (and several other questionable actions). If the reader can pass that critical go, the story line packs quite a wallop as the taut action leads to the audience rooting for the home team. Somewhat mindful of a Kirk Star Trek show (see “The Gamesters of Triskelion” episode), readers who relish action to the nth degree will join the ultimate survivor CONTEST, but with a galaxy of skepticism along for the ride.

Harriet Klausner

Chocolate Quake
Nancy Fairbanks
Berkley, April 2003, $5.99, 304 pp.
ISBN 0425189465

Food columnist Carolyn Blue accompanies her husband Jason to San Francisco where he is going to attend a scientific convention on toxins. She, being a dutiful daughter-in-law, gives Jason's mother a courtesy call, but only gets her answering machine stating that she is in the San Francisco Jail on a charge of first degree murder. When she tells Jason about it, he doesn't take it seriously since his mother, a radical feminist, has been in jail plenty of times due to the protest marches that got out of hand.

Exasperated with her husband, Carolyn takes matters into her own hands and visits Vera Blue in jail where she learns that her opinionated mother-in-law antagonizes the guards and her fellow inmates. Carolyn gets really upset when she hears her mother-in-law isn't taking the charges very seriously. With the police convinced they got the right person in custody, Carolyn decides to start her own investigation and winds up getting shot at by an unknown person who objects to her snooping.

CHOCOLATE QUAKE is a scrumptious mystery that takes the reader on a tour of some of the most popular restaurants of San Francisco. The heroine is a gutsy woman who takes matters into her own hands when she realizes her husband and his mother refuse to deal seriously with the situation. There is a surplus of suspects who wanted the victim dead so Carolyn has her work cut out for her if she wants her mother-in-law out of jail before they head home to Texas.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

An inner-city doctor is chosen by aliens to represent the human race in a battle to the death with 6 beings from other parts of the universe. He is teleported along with his 8 year old daughter into a gigantic library in New York which has been sealed off by the aliens for this event.

With only a strange little alien to guide them, they must kill all of the other 6 contestants in order to win the competition. But this is harder than it sounds since all of the other races involved know about the contest and have sent along their champions.

To make matters worse, none of the contestants can step outside the arena because if they do, the wristband they wear will explode, killing them and destroying a significant chunk of the surrounding area.
The review of this Book prepared by Mike McGowan

Chapter Analysis of Contest

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 32.5%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 27.5%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Repressive society story    -   Yes Repressive because:    -   has game where people are hunted Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Who's a slave/repressed?    -   humans are slaves of aliens

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   scientist    -   doctor Age:    -   20's-30's


Earth setting:    -   current (early 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Matthew Reilly Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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