Author: Eve Silver
Series: The Game, #1
Release date: June 11th 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository
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.
However, that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Rush – it is perhaps one of the most appropriately titled books I’ve ever read. Everything but the middle part brings a rush of excitement, an adrenaline surge that forces you to turn those pages as quickly as humanly possible. These kids travel through time and space to battle aliens – the ugly, telepathic Drau that want to take over our planet and drain it dry, and all that in a setting that is purposely made to look and function like a video game. What could be more exciting than that?
Rush opens with our heroine, Miki Jones, running to save a deaf little girl from an oncoming truck and getting hit in the process. A mere second later, while her body lays broken on the ground, she gets pulled to a clearing where four other kids await… including Luka Vujic, a boy from Miki’s school. They tell her she’s been drafted to fight the Drau and that she’ll occasionally get pulled from her regular life to go into battle with the rest of them.
Miki Jones stands out in more ways than one. She lost her mother when she was fourteen and she and her father struggle with their grief in very different ways. While her father drinks himself to sleep every night, Miki desperately wants to control every aspect of her life. She is no shrinking violet, though. When she gets pulled into the game, she takes some time to adjust, but once she does, no Drau is safe from her. Eight years of kendo guarantee her physical readiness, but her bravery and adaptiveness come from a different place altogether. Even more importantly, Miki’s steel spine doesn’t mean she’s emotionless; she experiences pain and loss and grief just like everyone else, but she never wallows in self-pity. Moments of insecurity come and go, but each of them leaves Miki stronger and readier to face life, both in the game and outside of it.
When Miki gets pulled the first time, she is understandably relieved to find someone she knows already there, but Luka is not the one who steals all her attention, as much as he’d like to be at first. No, that honor belongs to Jackson, the team’s unofficial leader and a strong believer in the tough love approach. The love triangle does rear its ugly head (two of them, actually) but it is never fully developed. It is always clear whom Miki wants and even the other boy loses interest after a while.
Whatever problems I had with Rush at first were neatly taken care of in the second half. The dreaded love triangle was gone, Miki was fiercer than ever, and the action was just amazing. It took me a while to process this book, but I can honestly say it left a strong impression on me. As far as I’m concerned, the second book can’t come soon enough.