Firstly, I admit I didnt buy this via Amazon. Both the UK and US sites were waaaay too delayed in distributing it, so I cancelled and bought direct from the publisher - and it was with me within 1 week of the publish date. I dont think a poor rating is warranted for the book itself unless the story and/or writing are what you find fault with - not the distribution process. Shame we can't rate Amazon ordering / distribution process as a separate issue - in which case I agree with the previous reviewer : 1 star or even zero!
The book itself : loved it! I like drama, action, good plot, h/c, character development & background, and a generous dollop of whump is always an added bonus. This story had all that for me. Lately, I've found more satisfaction in reading fanfic from the handful of really good SGA authors lately, and so it's no surprise to me that this author also pens fanfic under a pseudonym online. In the build-up to publish date, I've been reading all the snippets and teasers on the authors LJ, and so I knew before reading Death Game that this story would effectively be the first step on a 7-book story arc (there are 6 in the Legacy series - the first of which, 'Homecoming', is due next week). And I appreciate the time and care and detail that has been put into Death Game to set up the next books.
Death Game focuses on 3 character pairings : Sheppard & Teyla, Ronon & Radek, McKay & Lorne. It's interesting to read the interactions between Ronon & Radek, and Lorne & McKay as these characters don't often get placed together in difficult situations, and as they learn more about each other, so do we. Sheppard & Teyla are also still learning about each other too(in a totally non-'ship way), as the story is set in early season 2, and this allows us to fill some more blanks in the back-stories that have been sorely missing. Some readers may feel that having the characters tell each other stories (about themselves) feels artificial, but it's an effective way of allowing characters to speak about what they see as important moments in their lives.
This is not a wham-bam / action-only story, so don't bother if that's what you're after. If you want something that makes you connect a few dots, across the pages within and also the episodes and future books, then this is for you. The detail in the characterisations, the nods to past episodes/events, the nods to future events (as yet unknown by the characters but well known to the viewer), the pop-culture references that are threaded through, and the first inklings of issues that are going to come back to haunt the characters in the later books : all make for a really satisfying read.
For me, this book has now joined a very select group of two SGA books published so far, that I have seriously enjoyed (and would have made damn good episodes IMHO). I can't wait to read Homecoming, Lost and the rest of the Legacy books, and I thank Jo for this book plus the rest of the co-authors in advance for their obvious detailed knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for the subject matter.
I sincerely hope that Fandemonium can maintain this calibre of story-telling through Legacy and beyond, since this looks to be the only 'official' SGA continuation we're likely to get.