Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Review: Game Face

Over the holidays, I downloaded and read Game Face by Mark Troy. Game Face is a collection of 8 short stories featuring Val Lyon, plus a sample chapter from Pilikia Is My Business, the novel Troy wrote which stars her. (If you want to know how to pronounce “pilikia,” just read the preface in Game Face.)

One great thing about Game Face is that through this book, we get to know more about Val Lyon. The thread tying all the stories together, other than that they each star Val, is that they all focus on some type of sport. Some people may think female PIs aren’t believable because … how tough can a woman be? Read Game Face and Val will show you.

Game Face will allow you to see deeper into Val Lyon. Even if you don’t plan to get Pilikia Is My Business, each story in Game Face stands alone and each one shows Val in a different sport, from skydiving to open-ocean canoe racing to beach volleyball to professional basketball to golf to rodeo to surfing. As a bonus, they’re all set in Hawaii! Plus, in one of the stories, you get to meet Moon Ito. Troy refers to Moon as Val Lyon’s “sidekick.” Since reading Pilikia Is My Business and the short story Teed Off in this book, I think of him as a brick wall – one I would not want to run into. ‘Course, I would not want to get crosswise with Val either. I would, however, like to read another book about her. Hint, hint.





I give Game Face a rating of Hel-of-a-Character.
FTC Disclaimer: I know Mark Troy online and as a friend. I also was invited by him to speak at a workshop/conference put on by the Brazos Writers. None of this influenced my review. Another thing that did not influence me was his bio, or “About the Author,” in the back of the book. I was impressed, though. He served in the Peace Corps in Thailand, attended graduate school in Hawaii, and is now an administrator and researcher at Texas A&M University. But, hey, I have a bio, too. I swam as a mermaid, I went to graduate school in San Marcos, Texas, and there’s a teeny bit of a chance I might get to go to Hawaii this year. If it happens, I’m going to look for Val and Moon. See if they know what’s holding up the next book in the Val Lyon series.


  1. Sounds like a good lead in to the novel.
    And no one can top your mermaid status, Helen.

  2. My mermaid status was only good at Aquarena - and even it is no longer around. It got taken over by Texas State University for research work.

  3. Sounds like a great character - and sidekick! :)

  4. Interesting! I've been in the mood to read short stories lately (less time to read novels!)

  5. Thank you for the great review. Hel of a character. Wow! As they say in Hawaii, mahalo.


  6. Mermaid status is very important, as far as I'm concerned. :D
    I like short stories to see different aspects of a character...little side trips that are apart from a novel.

  7. Christmas in Hawaii would be nice!


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