The Player of Games is a hard book to get into at first, but about a third way in it did become interesting. I read this book for A Year of Books, which it did not make sense to me to pick a book that is 2nd in a series, I guess they kind of stand on their own, but at first it really is like wtf is going on. It’s a whole made up world and I had no clue what I was reading until a good while into the book. With that said, once I got the feel for it, the book was much better. It’s a story about a futuristic socialist society so the civilians and drones have time to do whatever they please, the main character Gurgeh plays games. Thankfully the book does not go too in-depth of what these games are or the moves, that would be boring as hell. He is blackmailed to compete at an Empire that is not part of Culture. While doing so it compares their society to Culture and explains how important the game is to the Empire of Azad. Then the plot gets old, so many times can the author vaguely explain the game going on before it gets boring, yes you want to find out who will win and how the Empire will react if the alien wins, but it does at an annoying pace towards the end. An overall decent book that kept me interested, but not something I would read again or want to continue the series.