Chapter Five – Excerpt From ‘A Game For The Young’

The Odds Game

Conor and his new friend Samuel Milton took in the view as they sat comfortably in the warmth of the Eagle & Child. They watched as the rain lightly tapped against the windows, as the puddles slowly formed on the street corners. Passers-by were pulling out their umbrellas and frantically running to shelter. The tables and chairs inside quickly filled up with shivering punters shaking off the rain.

‘Have you ever heard of the human regression theory?’ Samuel asked, handing Conor a shot of tequila. He glanced to the new arrivals coming in from the cold. Conor shrugged.

‘It’s the belief that the human race will eventually peak in its ascension. Achieve all that we are capable of, and then over time, slowly regress, forgetting all that has been learned.’ He picked up his tequila and gestured to the room. ‘It can make you wonder, when will we know that we’ve peaked?’

Conor had met Samuel during his first week at University. He was staying in the opposite room at Tennyson House and had given an almost immediate impression of wealth and boyish charm. He spoke with a rich, distinctly royal English accent and projected the self-worth and confidence you would expect followed a childhood spent wanting for nothing.

‘So, what are you taking?’ Conor had asked him.

‘Strictly class A’s, often with whisky. And you?’

Samuel’s dry sense of humour had taken a while to get used to. He had a cold exterior that would deflect questions and repel interest, a demeanour that required perseverance and patience. Instantly Conor had considered him the first test of his new mindset, an opportunity to meet someone he would have otherwise never met; and after several exhausting evenings attempting to keep up with his provocative intellect and rapid switches in conversation, an acceptance between them grew. Some would call it a friendship, but it was early days.

Conor had spent the past hour sharing memories and drinking stories from back home. Samuel listened intently in parts whilst on occasion drifting his focus, distracted by the mock Tudor character of the pub, the visible wooden beams, the lamps and roaring fire place. It offered an ambience which appeared to remind him of home.

Conor would have happily listened but depending on his mood Samuel would often be guarded when talking about where he came from and, in particular, his family.

He was also proving a strong drinker; three rounds with an accompanying shot and there was no sign of effect. Conor started to imagine that he had a silver flask of whisky tucked away in his jacket pocket at all times.

‘So, how’s your course going?’ Conor asked, the taste of tequila still warm on his breath.

‘Tiresome,’ Samuel sighed.

Conor wasn’t thrown by the response.

‘Don’t take this the wrong way, but I didn’t think it was for you.’ He was still confused by Samuel’s choice on studying Finance Math at Pembroke.

‘No offense taken, chap. To be fair it’s more my attendance at University that’s the driving factor here, rather than any purpose.’

‘So why are you here?’

Samuel looked away, appearing to choose his words before returning his attention.

‘I am here, dear boy, because I find the thought of contributing to society troublesome at best.’ His tone became less playful. ‘I’m here because parents like mine offer to pay the tuition fees of their children just to remove you from their sight. I’m here at the courtesy of my beloved ex girlfriend Michelle, who took my virginity and my heart and then replaced me with a pretty boy named Craig. Turns out she’s engaged now, which makes you wonder why stupid decisions aren’t rewarded more often!’

He took in a mouthful of his pint and swallowed it down.

‘I’m here for the stories, Conor, the experience. Something to tell my grandchildren when I have them, God forbid. I want proof that I lived… Why are you here?’

‘I told you. A degree in Computer Science.’

‘Oh yes, that’s right. Fascinating.’ Samuel rolled his eyes. ‘Why are you here?’ he asked, pointing down at the table. It was clear he meant Oxford.

Conor paused to think on his answer. No one had asked him it before. Oxford was deemed an achievement in anyone’s eyes, the instinctive reaction was to congratulate him, ask what he was studying and wish him the best of luck. But Samuel didn’t seem to carry the same enchantment to his new digs.

‘I was jaded. No, jaded is the wrong word; frustrated would be better,’ Conor admitted. ‘Back home I rotated my evenings around the same bars and clubs, regurgitating a copy of a night over and over… All my life, I’ve just wanted to do something worth remembering. I guess I’m looking for something.’

As he spoke Conor noticed a red-head by the bar ordering drinks.

‘A chance to meet people,’ he said softly. She had a lean athletic body and was wearing skinny jeans and a tight pink top.

Samuel frowned, noticing Conor’s sudden daze and followed his eye line to the bar.

‘Remember, dear boy,’ he smiled. ‘Women are an odds game that’s never in your favour.’

Undeterred, Conor rose from the table, wobbling slightly as he stood to his feet. Unlike Samuel the pace in which they had got through the first few rounds was not without effect.

‘Just give me a minute,’ he said.

Samuel watched jeeringly as Conor carefully walked towards the bar, heading straight for the girl. Weaving in and amongst the crowds and tables, he moved as quickly as he could, reaching the bar in time to see that she was being served her drinks. He casually positioned himself next to her. Aim high, aim far.

‘Hello,’ he said, trying his best to sound charming.

His greeting prompted her to glance at him for a brief second before turning back to her drinks.

‘Hi Fresher.’

Conor reeled. ‘Jesus, that obvious?’

‘Oh, I wouldn’t say that,’ she said, turning her head slightly, a touch of sarcasm in her tone.

‘Well, ten points in any case.’

She gave no response. Conor made every effort to keep his eye line above her neck.

‘Nice place, Oxford,’ he tried again. ‘You live here?’

‘Of course.’

‘You come here often?’ Quickly he regretted his choice of words.

‘And why would you ask that?’ she moved to face Conor, giving him her complete attention for the first time. She had dark hazel eyes.

‘You don’t do this very often, do you?’ she asked, smiling. ‘Not that I’m suggesting you’re inexperienced or amateur. No, you’ve had some experience with girls or you wouldn’t have approached at all. It’s just that you’ve got insecurities. I’m guessing it’s because this is your first time away from home. Are you studying IT?’

Conor couldn’t hide his surprise.

‘Computer Science. How did you know?’

‘You’ve got a look about you.’

‘I’ll take that as a compliment.’

‘Take whatever helps,’ she said, looking away to shield a smile.

Conor caught it but played along.

‘Thank you. What makes you think this is my first time away from home?’

‘Well, for one thing it explains this newfound courage of yours.’ She took a sip of her drink. ‘You can’t quite believe your luck, can you?’

He looked away before returning with a smirk.

‘OK, maybe.’

The barman served the last of her drinks onto a tray and took the twenty pound note she had held out folded between her fingers.

‘So, what’s your name?’ Conor asked, feeling a sudden need to act fast.

‘Oooh, direct. I’m impressed.’

‘But not enough?’

‘Not today,’ she took the change from the barman, giving him a wink, and turned back to Conor. ‘So why Oxford? What’s wrong with the University in Leicester?’

‘What makes you say Leicester?’

‘Well judging by your accent I’m guessing it’s Leicester, but I suppose it could be Coventry or outer Nottingham even.’ Conor did his best not to give her anything. She studied his face and smiled. ‘But it’s Leicester, definitely Leicester.’

‘I have my reasons for Oxford,’ Conor said enjoying her interest. ‘But we don’t know each other well enough and perhaps we should. Can I give you my number? You can’t learn everything from a glance and I think…’

‘No, not by a glance,’ she interrupted. ‘But by watching the way that they talk, dress, compose themselves in conversation.’ Conor noticed that he was leaning against the bar and stood up straight. ‘You can get enough… And after looking at you and a minute’s conversation I’m guessing you were born and raised in Leicester. Perhaps a little excessively mothered from a young age, middle class of course, kept your head down in school and did well but not as well as you hoped.’

She squinted in thought. ‘From there you went on to further education definitely, no doubt fuelled by binge drinking and nights out with equally testosterone driven primates. But that of course led to boredom and boredom to escapism. I’m sure Oxford felt like a logical choice.’ She took another sip of her drink.

‘How many points do I get?’

Conor leaned back up against the bar, wondering whether there was any point in speaking at all.

‘Have you ever heard of the human regression theory?’ he thought to say.

She smiled and picked up her drinks.

‘Have fun, Fresher, but not too much fun. OK?’

‘Don’t you want to know my name?’ Conor called out as she walked away.

‘I don’t need it,’ she replied, disappearing into the crowd.

He stood at the bar, dazed by the elegance in which she had palmed him away. If the odds weren’t in his favour back home, they weren’t worth calculating in Oxford. He glanced back to Samuel to find him grinning ridiculously and saluting with his pint. He’d enjoyed the show.

Conor thought for a second, trying to imagine how the exchange could have played out better for him. Was it the way he was dressed? His hair? He sighed, eventually settling on a reason that his pride painfully allowed him to accept.



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A GAME FOR THE YOUNG

THE STORY

For the past two years Ellie Swanson and a team of scientists have devoted their lives to a project. An experiment destined to change the course of history.

When their funding is pulled on the eve of their biggest discovery, the team are left with a choice; abandon everything they have worked towards or continue on in secret.

Conor Martin is a young man, full of hope, beginning his journey at St John’s College, Oxford. With a curious nature and a point to prove, he becomes caught up in an interviewing process like no other.

As paths collide and the true potential of the project is revealed, the impact of their creation is suddenly shaken, concluding in a chilling discovery that will change their lives forever.

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Have you read A Game For The Young?
Share your comments #agamefortheyoung

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Available Now On Paperback

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Available Now On EBook

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fourandahalfstars
“Curious insight into a topical mind. A little chilling in places. Fascinating!”

fivestars
“I love this book! It’s thought provoking and packed full of twists and turns. A great read.”

fourstars
“Packed full of thought-provoking ideas, daring night-time information raids and enough secrets to fill a dozen spy novels, A Game for the Young is deep, insightful and incredibly clever. Science enthusiasts will enjoy its focus on research and experimentation, but there is something for all readers in this novel. The twists and turns are sharp, unexpected and thrilling and will draw the reader in until the final, gripping line.”

fourandahalfstars
“A brilliantly written book that grips you right from the start. The fascinating and ethically challenging plot makes it very hard to put down. A fabulous first novel and looking forward to the next one.”

fivestars
“One of those books you look forward to picking up all the time… Looking forward to book number two as the first book was brilliant!”

fivestars
“I could not put this book down. The author has clearly done a considerable amount of research and made a compelling, worrying and fascinating read.”

fivestars
“Excellent first book from this author. Tempo builds to a real page turner, with twists and turns right up to the last chapter. It will give you a detailed insight into the lives of Oxford students trying to cope with the pressures and moral dilemmas brought on by a truly life changing discovery. I strongly recommend this as a must read and look forward to the next book.”

fourstars
“A well paced and engaging read. Characters have unique and individual voices. Some interesting themes are explored here and questions asked regarding the ethics and morality of enhancing the human being’s natural capacity through scientific means. 4* as I would have liked it to be longer (because I was enjoying it thoroughly)… maybe I am just being greedy.”

fivestars
“A gripping read taking you through the lives, past and present of a group of students on a mission to change the future and the world we live in, with underlying secrets that bring the book to life! The mysterious build up to how the inquisitive main character becomes involved in this project reflects how i felt as a reader and why this book could not be put down. It has a perfect balance of information to make it compelling read but holds enough back for the impact of the final twist. I look forward to the next novel!”

fivestars
“Definite worth a read! I had a hard time putting it down! Can’t wait to read the next novel! Always love a fiction I can actually learn something from, research and detail brilliant.”

fivestars
“Couldn’t put this down – best book I’ve read for years.. intriguing from the start, gripping, very well written – whens the next one out?!”

fivestars
“Absolutely brilliant story. A book which one cannot put down for a moment once into it. I have passed it on to be read by others. Beautifully written and deserves to be a film or a TV thriller. Well done David and look forward to the next one. This is 5*”

fivestars
“This is a good read. An interesting storyline with plenty of plot twists. I agree with an earlier reviewer, this would make a great movie script!”

 

David P. Philip


Website: http://www.davidpphilip.com
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A GAME FOR THE YOUNG

DISCOVER THE EXPERIMENT DESTINED TO CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY

Exploring obsession, addiction and the abuse of power, David P. Philip’s debut novel, A Game for the Young, expertly toys with the idea of knowledge being a drug. After being accepted into Oxford University, Conor Martin finds himself thrust into an interviewing process like no other—with a chance to join an enigmatic team. This group of individuals have sacrificed the last two years of their lives to a project so important, it has the potential to change every life on the planet… read more

Have you read A Game For The Young?
Share your comments #agamefortheyoung

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Chapter Four – Excerpt From ‘A Game For The Young’

 

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Chapter Four (Opening) – Excerpt From ‘A Game For The Young’

 

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Chapter Three – Excerpt From ‘A Game For The Young’

 

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Chapter Six – Excerpt From ‘A Game For The Young’

 

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Chapter Two – Excerpt From ‘A Game For The Young’

 

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A Game For The Young – Afterword

 

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Chapter Five – Excerpt From ‘A Game For The Young’

 

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Chapter Eight – Excerpt From ‘A Game For The Young’

 

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Chapter One – Excerpt From ‘A Game For The Young’

 

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Images From ‘A Game For The Young’

 

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Chapter Nineteen – Excerpt from ‘A Game For The Young’

 

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Prologue – Excerpt From ‘A Game For The Young’

 

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Book Launch Photos – A Game For The Young

 

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Frequently Asked Questions – A Game For The Young

 

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Publication Day – Thank you!

 

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The ‘Unofficial’ Soundtrack to A Game For The Young

 

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A Game For The Young – Press Release

 

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A Game For The Young Ebook Retailers

 

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The Locations In Oxford Used In ‘A Game For The Young’

 

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First Review of ‘A Game for the Young’

 

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Chapter Thirty – Excerpt From ‘A Game For The Young’

 

David P. Philip


Website: http://www.davidpphilip.com
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Chapter Nineteen – Excerpt from ‘A Game For The Young’

Page 122-123.

As she said it Conor suddenly leaned forward, breathing heavy and erratic. Ellie could see his expression change, noting it with a smile.

‘Let it grow in your mind. Believe you know.’

He gripped the bench and flinched, briefly closing his eyes only to open them wide. Staring intensely at the ground, he gasped for air.

‘Don’t hold your breath,’ Ellie said, leaning forward.

Like a childhood memory, at first it had felt distant. A feeling he couldn’t explain. A burning muse of fulfilment and yet it was building to pure elation. Something was rising to the surface, a recollection. And then it happened.

An explosion of memories broke through the wall in his mind, pouring through into his conscious, a rush of hormones. Conor’s eyes began to water as he felt his senses increase ten levels, a desire overcoming him to cry out, whether it was to laugh or scream he couldn’t understand. He was suddenly everywhere and anything. The world was limitless.

Ellie could see it in his eyes.

‘The first time is always special.’


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David P. Philip


Website: http://www.davidpphilip.com
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A Game For The Young

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THE STORY

For the past two years Ellie Swanson and a team of scientists have devoted their lives to a project. An experiment destined to change the course of history.

When their funding is pulled on the eve of their biggest discovery, the team are left with a choice; abandon everything they have worked towards or continue on in secret.

Conor Martin is a young man, full of hope, beginning his journey at St John’s College, Oxford. With a curious nature and a point to prove, he becomes caught up in an interviewing process like no other.

As paths collide and the true potential of the project is revealed, the impact of their creation is suddenly shaken, concluding in a chilling discovery that will change their lives forever.

 

Available Now On Paperback

amazon-logospacerrowanvale-smallspacerwaterstones-small

 

Available Now On EBook

amazon-logospacerrowanvale-smallspacerBarnes-and-Noblespacerkobo-smallspacerscribd-small

 

fourandahalfstars
“Curious insight into a topical mind. A little chilling in places. Fascinating!”

fivestars
“I love this book! It’s thought provoking and packed full of twists and turns. A great read.”

fourstars
“Packed full of thought-provoking ideas, daring night-time information raids and enough secrets to fill a dozen spy novels, A Game for the Young is deep, insightful and incredibly clever. Science enthusiasts will enjoy its focus on research and experimentation, but there is something for all readers in this novel. The twists and turns are sharp, unexpected and thrilling and will draw the reader in until the final, gripping line.”

fourandahalfstars
“A brilliantly written book that grips you right from the start. The fascinating and ethically challenging plot makes it very hard to put down. A fabulous first novel and looking forward to the next one.”

fivestars
“One of those books you look forward to picking up all the time… Looking forward to book number two as the first book was brilliant!”

fivestars
“I could not put this book down. The author has clearly done a considerable amount of research and made a compelling, worrying and fascinating read.”

fivestars
“Excellent first book from this author. Tempo builds to a real page turner, with twists and turns right up to the last chapter. It will give you a detailed insight into the lives of Oxford students trying to cope with the pressures and moral dilemmas brought on by a truly life changing discovery. I strongly recommend this as a must read and look forward to the next book.”

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How To Write A Book Review

Readers will always be interested in the opinions of other readers.

Whether you’ve loved a book or not, provided you give an honest account of your experience, the reading community will benefit from your review.

Here are five recommended points to writing a ‘complete’ book review.

Start with a couple of sentences describing what the book is about – avoid spoilers!

As a general rule, try to avoid writing in detail about anything that happens from around the middle part of the book onwards. If the book is part of a series, it might be useful to mention this, along with your thoughts on whether they should read the other books in the series to enjoy this one.

Discuss what you particularly liked about the book

Focus on how you felt about the story and the way it was told. You could try answering a couple of the following questions:

  • Who was your favourite character, and why?
  • Did the characters feel real to you?
  • Did the story keep you guessing?
  • What was your favourite part of the book, and why?
  • Did the book make you think, laugh or cry?

Mention anything you disliked about the book

Talk about why you think it didn’t work for you:

  • Were any parts of the story unclear or feel rushed?
  • Were the themes of the story understandable?
  • Do you have any ideas on how the book could of been made better?

Round up your review

Summarise your thoughts on the book by suggesting the type of reader you’d recommend it to. Are there any books or series you would compare it to?

Give the book a rating

A mark out of five is preferable and will offer the every day skim reader an easily digestible snap shot on your opinion of the story.





Thank you to Author Luisa Playa, who largely inspired this blog entry.

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David P. Philip


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Book Launch Photos – A Game For The Young

Thank you to everyone that could make the book launch. A Great Day!

I really appreciate your support.


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David P. Philip


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Frequently Asked Questions – A Game For The Young

What inspired you to write a novel?

About five years ago I sat down and wrote a bucket list.
The list included things like learning to play piano, learning to speak french, become a father, run a marathon and a load of other cliché experiences, but the one that immediately stuck out to me was to ‘write a novel’. I already had a few ideas, so I did a bit of research and it just went from there.

What inspired you to write A Game For The Young in particular?

I think I was watching ‘Minority Report’. I realised that (at least for the stories that I’d seen or read) whenever science fiction depicted the ability to transfer data to or from the brain it was always being done in a slick, well established manner.
The technology is always being used as more of a vehicle to support the main plot rather than given its own due credit.
I always thought it would be interesting to tell a gritty realistic account of this technology being invented and explore all the dangers that would entail.

How long did it take you to write?

Four years (on and off). I researched for several months, I edited the novel with Rowanvale Books for almost a year. But in total, start to finish – 4 years.

Why Is It Based In Oxford?

Initially when I began my research, the articles I was reading directed me towards Oxford. I also wanted the characters in my story to be young, slightly reckless, but well educated and focused. Over time they became students at Oxford University.
I also wanted to take of advantage of a city with lots of history and culture. Oxford was great for that.

Will your next story be a sequel to A Game For The Young?

No, I’ve done all I wanted to do with this story and it’s characters.

How was A Game For The Young published?

I used the paperback and ebook publication service provided by Rowanvale Books. They managed the proofreading, helped with editing, designed the front cover, reformatted the text. They also oversee the printing and distribution.

How did you do your research?

The Internet! Google Maps, YouTube, Wikipedia, The Oxford Uni website and a collection of other useful sites. I was also fortunate enough to have a friend who’s sister is a scientist. She was able to make suggestions that helped ensure the novel was kept as realistic as possible.



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David P. Philip


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The ‘Unofficial’ Soundtrack to A Game For The Young

The ‘Unofficial’ Soundtrack

Like many I’m sure, I’m often listening to music whilst I read/write.

Not long ago I was looking for the perfect compilation of background music and it got me thinking about the songs I was listening to whilst writing ‘A Game For The Young’.

Judging by the number of plays, these are some of the highest ranking tunes from my iTunes account. So I guess I should consider this my unofficial soundtrack to ‘A Game For The Young’:

1. Intro – M83

2. Take A Breath – Etherwood

3. Teardrop – Massive Attack

4. Porcelain – Moby

5. Archangel – Burial

6. Into Dust – Mazzy Star

7. Heaven – Emeli Sandé

8. You Got The Love – The Source (Feat. Candi Station)

9. Insomnia – Faithless

10. Midnight – Coldplay

11. An Ending (Ascent) – Brian Eno

12. Outro – M83

What music helps you focus?

Any recommendations with a similiar sound to the above?



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David P. Philip


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A Game For The Young – Press Release

David P. Philip releases debut novel, which promises to be a thriller like no other.

 

Exploring obsession, addiction and the abuse of power, Philip’s debut novel, A Game for the Young, expertly toys with the idea of knowledge being a drug.

After being accepted into Oxford University, Conor Martin finds himself thrust into an interviewing process like no other—with a chance to join an enigmatic team. This group of individuals have sacrificed the last two years of their lives to a project so important, it has the potential to change lives across the globe.

Now, they need Conor’s help.

As the true potential of the project is revealed, the impact of their creation is suddenly shaken, concluding in a chilling discovery that will change things forever.

A contemporary thriller dripping with realism; the tone of this story is strikingly gothic, and invites further questions on human behaviour and thought with every turn of the page.

 

David P. Philip lives on the South Coast of England with his wife and daughter.

Fascinated by stories that explore the brain and challenge human behaviour, David’s first novel, A Game for the Young, tells the story of a team of Oxford students, inventing something that is set to change the course of history.

This novel is the end result of over three years of writing, proof reading and editing — including the months of research David has done in the field of cognitive neuroscience.

 

Book Specifications

ISBNs:

Paperback: 978-1-909902-99-2
ePub: 978-1-909902-96-1
Mobi: 978-1-909902-97-8
PDF: 978-1-909902-98-5

Format: e-book and paperback
RRP: £8.99
Publication Date: March 2015
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David P. Philip


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