Curtis Powell has one goal, one dream for his life: to be a champion Trisk player. His dream is about to come true.
It’s the year 2151, and baseball is no longer America’s favorite game. Trisk, a game that is equal parts sport and war, is America, and the Massi Corporation is Trisk. As hopefuls like Curtis and his friends graduate from training college, though, a startling event occurs, in which one Trisk team defies the granite arm of Massi and becomes independent. When Curtis signs with the gutsy though underfunded team, he isn’t sure if he’s made the right choice, but as the season progresses and his star begins to shine, Curtis believes he is finally reaching his dream.
Caught up in the high life, Curtis begins taking risks, talking big, taking advantage of the way America swoons over his very name. His ego spirals out of control, and not even his best friend can shake sense into Curtis’s solid gold over-the-top ways. As the inevitable reckoning comes, Curtis struggles to pull back from the abyss of selfishness, but it may be too late to regain what he’s lost. On top of that, as the championship heats up and Curtis and his independent team battle for a place in the final games, Massi turns up the heat, promising destruction if the team doesn’t back down. Curtis talks big, but Massi hits hard. All that remains to be discovered is whose will and whose might are stronger.
Sports fans be warned: Trisk is packed with high-energy, over-the-top action. Non-sports fans: the sharp wit of the author and the high stakes of the game make this debut novel a hard one to put down. While a few passages delve into the techniques and strategy of the game for which the book is titled, much of the story centers around the underdog team and its star member, his struggle to remain honorable and valiant in the face of an amoral country drowning in a sports obsession. The story is told with a sort of wry, intelligent voice, though sometimes it drifts into metaphors which obscure what’s actually happening and become confusing. For the most part, the writing is as entertaining as the story itself.
Curtis has a long-time girlfriend named Priscilla, who he does not sleep with, though it remains unclear whether the couple live together or not. A journalist attempts to seduce a Trisk player, while video-taping the exchange. The scene is a little confusing, but it seems like the couple stop after removing clothing and the player reconsiders his actions.
Curtis and his best friend live by higher moral standards than many other Trisk players and are often ridiculed for this stance. Brief references are made to God and Jesus in a spiritual way, but there isn’t a lot of preaching or long explanations.
One player is severely injured by an explosion. Brief battle violence describes players performing in the game of Trisk.
Trisk players are instructed to use a type of drug to control their emotions. Curtis struggles with whether or not to use this, and it’s hinted that some players have become addicted and trapped by serious side effects. References to alcohol over-indulgence, and some brief scenes showing drinking.