cover image The Sacrifice Game: Book II 
in the Sacrifice Game Trilogy

The Sacrifice Game: Book II in the Sacrifice Game Trilogy

Brian D’Amato. Dutton, $29.95 (672p) ISBN 978-0-525-95241-1

The overly long second volume of D’Amato’s apocalyptic trilogy (after 2009’s In the Courts of the Sun) opens on a note of doom. Ethnic Mayan Joachim Carlos Xul Mixoc DeLanda, who’s able to use his expertise with an ancient divination game, the Sacrifice Game, to anticipate the future, describes his decision to end all human life in time to fulfill the Mayan prophecy that the world will end in December 2012. DeLanda believes that “over 99.8 percent of [life], now, in the future, and always, is and will be sheer unrelieved agony.” DeLanda’s justification for his horrific act and his description of what’s led up to it make compelling reading, but the initial momentum and tension peter out in the middle section set in seventh-century Mexico at the Mayan empire’s peak. While explicit descriptions of mutilation and cannibalism highlight the cultural differences between the Mayan civilization and our own, some readers may feel less would have been more. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary Agency. (July)