Rush by Eve Silver
Book One of The Game series
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Summary (from Goodreads):
So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?
When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn't really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn't. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.
What I Liked:
OH MY GOSH I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! This one is definitely going on my list of favorites at the end of the year. Yes, I didn't rate it five stars, and I have good reasons why I docked that one star, but seriously, people. I was so impressed when I finished this book. I've never read anything by Eve Silver, and I'm glad that this was the first one of her books that I read.
Miki is an incredible character. At first, I wasn't sure if I liked her or not. She's extremely tough, smart-mouthed, inquisitive, and really, in short, strong. I guess I wasn't expecting such a strong protagonist, but Miki definitely packed one heck of a punch (both in the story and as a character).
Miki is pulled when she jumps in front of a truck to save a little girl, and instead, gets killed. Sort of. She wakes up to find herself in the Lobby, waiting to attack alien creatures. Her "team" includes Jackson, Richelle, Tyrone, and Luka (Luka, she already knew from her school).
I thought the premise of this story sounded awesome - and it really was! I'm kicking myself for having an early review copy of this books for MONTHS and not reading it sooner, because I was completely sucked in to the story. This sort of reminded me of Epic by Conor Kostick, but in an obscure way. Being pulled into this different setting is sort of like being in a video game.
There is a ton of action in this book, and it almost seems non-stop. Being pulled means that you are taken into the "video game" world, and if you survive, you are dropped back into your real life, at the exact second you left. So, while a good amount of the book was spent in the "video game" world, not a lot of time passed in the real world. I loved the anticipation of fighting the creatures (called Drau) - I think Ms. Silver does an excellent job building up the tension and the nerves before Miki and the team fight the Drau.
This book is full of twists and turns! I thought it was going to go one way, and then it goes another way. I could not believe what Ms. Silver threw at us, with the bodies (not telling!). And then to find out Jackson's secret... I was shocked and intrigued! Ms. Silver definitely keeps readers guessing, but throughout the book, she tells us enough so that we won't be completely confused as we read.
Speaking of Jackson... oh man. He's the leader of the team, and he is full of mysteries. He never takes off his sunglasses, he doesn't like answering questions, and he seems to be extremely good at what he does... why? We find out as we go. He's definitely my favorite character of the book. He isn't a wimp, or a coward, or a big softy. He doesn't really have "moments". And when he tells Miki he's dangerous - he means it. This isn't like Edward telling Bella to stay away from him because he "might" hurt her (bullcrap) - I find Jackson's reasons more tragic.
And of course, he's an amazing love interest. I love his continual banter with Miki throughout the book. One of my favorite scenes of the entire book (I have many favorite scenes of this book... like, the whole thing!) is the lunch scene. Jackson isn't a soft and squishy guy - he's definitely and iron and steel guy that you don't want to mess with. But somehow, he's so lovable! And swoonworthy! And officially one of my favorite male protagonists of all time! Check out my Swoon Thursday (#22) post if you don't believe me.
That being said, I love the romance in this book. The plot is definitely NOT the romance, and the romance is second to the plot, though both are much more connected than readers believe (we find out this in the end of the book). There is a sort-of love triangle, but it's really not one at all. In any sense of the phrase. At least, I don't think it is.
The book ends in a cliffhanger, and I need Push (book two) like, yesterday. I was emotionally distraught over this cliffhanger! So, not a favorable ending. But it's a good ending! Like, well-written, makes sense with the plot, understandable, mean... I need Push.
What I Did Not Like:
There were a few things that stuck out to me that I didn't really like, and that's why this book got 4 stars instead of five. For one, the massive cliffhanger that I absolutely abhorred and possibly cried over because I couldn't believe Ms. Silver would do such a thing. Cue the water works!
Another is the amount of info dumping that happens. Readers (and Miki) get a ton of information in like, three spots in this book, all at once. When Miki firsts enters the Lobby, she gets a boatload of information then. Then she talks to Jackson when they were at the playground later in the story. And there are more spots that are smaller, but basically, the info dumping was kind of painful.
And there are some small things that were never really answered in this book (maybe in the next books?). Like, I don't really understand why the Drau are stuck in the "video game" world. And why does dying selflessly pull someone into the "video game" world? There are other questions I had, but I'm hoping that they aren't important details, or that they will be answered in the next two books.
Would I Recommend It:
Go get a copy now! Buy it, borrow it, whatever, just get it! You don't have to be a video game lover (I'm not!) or a science fiction lover to read and love this book!
4 stars. I must have re-read this book about 4 times already. It's that good, people!
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