Rush [The Game, #1] by Eve Silver
Katherine Tegen Books | Hardcover, 363 pages
Publication Date: June 11th, 2013
YA Science Fiction, Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I read this back in July but have stumbled writing this review. It’s a rare occasion when I loved a book so much and want to sing its praises but couldn’t quite know how to go about it. But it happens. The thing that boggles my mind is that I’m not particularly a fan of this type of stories. Anytime a YA book of the same theme comes out, I tend to avoid it like the plague. I’m always wary that it would start bombarding me with gaming terms that only the coolest geeks would know. Now, if, let’s say, an author was able to soften its edges with the vignette of a romance, then I’d most likely give it a chance. This book is different though; the romance took a backseat and I’ll try to explain it further down.
Rush is – as the title implies – a rush. From page one to the last, Eve Silver yanks her readers to a world that’s both futuristic and oddly primordial (in a sense that their enemies, though alien life forms, parallels the basic viciousness as you would demons). The world and the plot are reminiscent of Sanctum by Sarah Fine. But where Sanctum dealt with the age-old battle between good and evil and suggestions of angels and demons, Rush is more of the Science Fiction persuasion.
The main character, Miki was literally yanked out of her real-life and into an unknown world only a chosen few have knowledge of. On the surface, you may think that it’s some sort of a holding cell for people on the cusp of death – because that’s how Miki ended up in Rush’s world. In an attempt to save a deaf girl from being crushed by a truck, she unselfishly throws herself in the line of collision, pushing the little girl out of the truck’s way thus killing her in the process. But you will come to know that it actually is a parallel universe constructed in a video game-like manner where a group of weapon-wielding teens go out and kill Drau. Drau is an alien-life form disguised as beautiful creatures determined to rid the planet of humans. They’re a menace; the stuff nightmares are made of but aren’t as easily detectable unless you have the sight or if you’re a member of the group loosely trained to kill them.
Miki was understandably unprepared for her first stint. She spent a lot of time in an anxious wonder while the battle was going on around her. She fumbled with her weapon and thought of Jackson way too much (I don’t blame her one bit). But she slowly recovered as the story goes on. She somehow managed to find her strength and determination to learn the ropes and what she needed to do to survive.
This book is not perfect by any means (no book rarely is). And while the hint of a love triangle was always in the reader’s periphery, Miki stood her ground and was resolved to how she feels about each boy. She knew who she wants and readers would not be inundated with the laments of a girl waffling between two boys. Regardless of Miki’s clear stance – and I can’t believe I’m about to say this – I think the book could’ve used less romance. Gasps. I know!
This is one of those rare instances when the kick-assery was dulled (though, not significantly) by the romance. I’m not saying I didn’t like the tension-filled encounters between Jackson and Miki; in fact, I think it added to the thrilling ambiance of the book. I just think that the over-all fierceness and uniqueness of the world Silver has created was somehow lightened by all the fuss and the drama that was going on outside of Jackson and Miki’s budding relationship.
My final thought on the novel is this: Eve Silver has managed the impossible in it that she masterfully combined the seemingly one-dimensional world of gaming and the passion and sentiment of real life. It was an adrenaline rush, and a story that moves significantly fast. The ending will leave readers clamoring for the installment and wishing that there’s some sort of stage level we can get past and the prize is a shiny ARC of the next book.