Thursday, June 6, 2013

Review: Rush (The Game, #1)


Rush (The Game, #1)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.

On the surface, Rush has everything going for it: a great cover, an excellent idea, a promising beginning and a pretty decent pacing. These are all things that stay true until the end. But along the line, other things crawl in between them – things like love triangles (rectangles, really), best friend drama etc. and they ruin the fun just a little bit.

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.


27 comments:

  1. In theory, this book should work for me (minus the love triangle drama, of course), but, for some reason or another, I can't seem to get through it. I've put it on hold for the time being, and I'm not sure if I really want to return to it. I'm really glad it worked out in the end for you though. I might just wait to see what you think of the second book once it's released! Lovely review, Maja. :)

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  2. I don't have the patience for rough starts, so I don't think I'll be picking up this series just yet. Perhaps once the entire trilogy is released, but I'm glad to see you enjoyed it and that the book really picked up for you by the end. Lovely review, Maja! :)

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  3. OMG! Finally, A POSITIVE REVIEW! I'm def. no fan of love triangles- let along rectangles but I'm feeling lore relieved now. I was getting worried that choosing to download and review this book was a big boo-boo. I know I can trust your thoughts. ;)

    Fantastic review, love! <33 I hope I end up enjoying it

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  4. This was such an unusual book (once you get past that love mess. Grr.) and I really enjoyed!!! Fast-paced and fun with a great MC. Miki's someone I can really get behind as a character. Looking forward to seeing what's up next with the whole gang.

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  5. Good to hear that despite the drama and love triangle/rectangle you ended up enjoying this one. Although I like the cover and the concept I wont be picking it up, because I don't think I'll able to get past the love triangle. I am just fed up of them.

    Great review!

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  6. Sounds like it could've been perfect without the drama and the love triangle, but still has stuff going for it.

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  7. We've talked about this one Maja, and I think I'm going to really enjoy it despite the love triangle/love rectangle situation. You say it doesn't ever really form though, so I'm going to cling tight to that when I start to worry about it and then just sit back and enjoy the ride of this one. A 4 rating from you is super encouraging, so I can't wait to read! Beautiful review as always:)

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  8. I really loved this book! I thought Miki was such a strong, awesome character. Great review :)

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  9. Yay! I am so glad you liked this one too because I really truly did! That ending about killed me and I can't wait to find out where the author takes the storyline.
    I agree there were some holes but they were easily overlooked on my part since I feel in love with everything else.

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  10. oh gosh you would think thats where books start to pick, the middle, but a lot slow down. love square? D:

    Glad you found it excited besides the..little things that got in the way. It does sound very original and different. I love the sound of it myself :D

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  11. Okay, I'm officially less nervous about this one. My main concern was that I had no idea what to expect and so I was anxious about it. But the way you put it, you're not blind to its flaws but it has some really great aspects, and that I can get behind. I should be good with this one, but I won't know for sure until I start it OBVS. I can't wait to try it!

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  12. Well I am so happy to hear that the second half redeems the book and that the love triangle goes away. This book is getting some good buzz and I might just have to read it, then again my pile is overwhelming right now... sigh...

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  13. I hated the ending. HATED it. But then I hate cliffies with a passion.

    I loved the way the author played with time and it came off as believable! I was just frustrated by the lack of knowledge of the committee and their motivations. I'm also as frustrated as Miki was with the whole situation (but I think that was a good thing). Oh and I'm so with you about the triangle being abolished in the end. And I'm with you on Miki in the end. Loved her attitude. So need that next book. Give me closure!!!!!

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  14. Oh whoa. This is CRAZY cause a few months ago my husband and I were driving in the car and talking about totally random and crazy things and he started talking about something and I said WHOA, that would make a GREAT book and he said yes, I need to write it. And now I see that Eve Silver ALREADY WROTE IT! I guess she saved me some time and energy, lol. I'm sure mine would be very different, but it's the same idea of things. I'm definitely going to have to read it now and see if it really is similar to what we were talking about.

    Thanks for the recommendation earlier, I immediately bought it! Now hopefully I can fit it in this year. ;)

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  15. I'm thrilled to hear you liked this in spite of love triangles and friend drama, and it's great to hear they mostly take care of themselves by the end. This one is next on my list, so I'm happy to hear I have an action packed story with a fierce heroine ahead of me. Wonderful review! :-)

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  16. Thanks for this great review Maja. This book hadn't caught my attention at all but you make it sound so good. I want to read it NOW lol. Hopefully the love rectangle won't bother me too much :)

    I've never listened to an audio book so I can't really comment on the experience of a bad narrator, but I hope you're still able to enjoy Fall of Night somewhat.

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  17. I started this the other day and really did struggle with it that I had to put it down. But your final rating and the fact that Miki grew on you as the story progressed, has given me the encouragement to get back to this. Lovely review hun!

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  18. This sounds very interesting. It's always good to hear that any problems you had at the start of the book is resolved by the end (even better to hear the love triangle is gone). I'll have to put this on my TBR list. Great review :)

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  19. This sounds like a great book. I'm sorry it started off so horribly. Thanks for the great review! I don't think I'll be reading this. For one, sci-fi isn't really my genre and love rectangles annoy me to no end.

    The cover is lovely, though.

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  20. Miki sounds like a very well developed and emotionally strong character. I think I would really like her. As far as the love rectangle (ha!) goes, I'm fine by it if Miki knows who she wants from the beginning. The indecisiveness is what I can't handle. The premises is very out there and unique. Thanks for the lovely review, Maja! I'm definitely going to check this one out.

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  21. Hmm...it's good to hear that the dreaded love triangle thing doesn't make it to the end, and that the pacing is so great, but I'm still going to hold back on this one I think. I really love the video game concept, but I still haven't found one that I think is quite the right fit for me.

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  22. Ooh, Maja, the fact that you gave something with a love tri/rectangle 4 stars immediately puts this on my radar. I loved Ender's Game back in the day and the game sounds somewhat similar. I'll have to check this out.

    -Maggie

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  23. Ooh! I haven't paid much attention to this book until now! I like that the love-tri disappears and that you're so keen for the sequel!

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  24. Girl is tough and knows how to fight?? Book starts off with a car crash type situation? You need not say anymore. *ADDed to TBR pile*

    Love your reviews..

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  25. So nice to see you enjoyed this, Maja. I've see this on GRs around but I've never taken the time to see what it was about. Glad to see it picked up in the second half and that the love triangle/rectangle dissipated to the point of being bearable. Great review! :)

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  26. The synopsis of this one sounded interesting so I was hoping that the inside would live up. It's good to know that it does, Maja. Miki sounds like a fabulous MC, and I like that things that I'd find annoying too such as a love triangle are taken care of in the second half.

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  27. The triangle and cliffy made me think twice about this but you've steered me the other way..lol

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