Friday, November 28, 2014

Rush Review: A Deadly Game

Title: Rush (The Game, #1)
Author: Eve Silver
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: June 11th, 2013
*Physical review copy kindly provided by the author*

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.

My Review!
*I received a free copy of this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

My only thought after finishing Rush was: What is this? I'm not exactly sure how to classify this genre and I'm not entirely 100% certain I even understand what this book is about or where it's going. I'm very curious about the sequel, though.

It took a little bit for me to get into the book, after that explosive first chapter. I think it lost some of its momentum throughout the story-line, and sometimes I didn't know if I wanted to continue. Not that the book was bad, but I just wasn't invested in the story or characters that much.

I liked Miki a lot more in the beginning than the the rest of the book. I understood her well and felt a connection because I know what it's like to let the grief rule everything, to not even recognize yourself anymore, and that feeling of being completely lost and lonely. She was also a little sassy. However, she became a Mary Sue of a character. She was so special but she didn't even know it. Everything about the game came easy for her; she never had trouble with the Drau, although her kendo training did give her an edge. She was kind of set on a pedestal against the other female characters, which showed with the little bit of high school drama. It was almost like she could do no wrong. The story also centered around her, which left everyone else one-dimensional.

Speaking of one-dimensional: cue Jackson Tate, the love interest. I didn't necessarily have a problem with his character; I just didn't believe him. His I-am-an-island attitude and "bad boy" appeal came across as unauthentic, given all of the contradictions between his words and his actions. I also would have liked more background on his character, because I felt that he could have been much more genuine if he'd had more going for him than his looks and sudden and unexpected interest in our MC. Their chemistry also felt forced in the beginning, like it was trying too hard to happen.

Miki's relationships with the secondary characters felt immensely underdeveloped, which made the high school drama all the more annoying. I hated that the one with Luka was tainted by forced jealousy and friendship drama. I thought he could have been a great friend to Miki. I also didn't care for the way her friendship with her childhood best friend was treated. It didn't even seem that important for the MC because of how easy it was that a guy could come between them. The only "relationship" that had any depth was the one with Jackson. And even that was sorely without that much growth. Because when the L word was thrown around, I just didn't believe it.

And I had a love/hate relationship with the plot. On the one hand, all of the mystery left me curious to know everything about the Drau, these aliens who destroy planets, and what the game actually is. On the other hand, all of the non-answers seemed like a carrot being dangled in front of a horse's nose so it will keep walking in the hope of receiving the treat. In this case, all they did was make me mad that I wasn't learning anything new and in a timely manner. I also found it ridiculous that Miki would get "pulled" into a game like this with absolutely no information or training whatsoever, with a leader who won't even give her the most basic details to help her survive the missions without needing him to swoop in and save her. I'm still mostly confused about everything involving this story-line, and I'm not even sure I get it. But I still want to find out after that cliffhanger, albeit clich√©, ending.

One little annoying pet peeve of mine in this, aside from the non-answers was the fact that all of the characters seemed able to read minds. Apparently nothing needed to be said because everyone knew what the other was thinking. There was a lot of assuming that way, and it took away from the development of relationships because no one was honest with each other.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the story. It was a surprisingly quick read, even though it lost me a few times throughout. Rush had a unique concept that I hope will be developed more thoroughly in the sequel.

3 Paw Prints!

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