Author: Eve Silver
Genre: Space Opera, YA Contemporary, Wibbly-Wobbley-Timey-Wimey stuff
Publication Date: June 11, 2013 (HarperTeen – North America)
Source: Edelweiss Review Copy
Summary: 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.
☆: 2/5 stars – an absolutely excellent high concept idea, but terrible execution.
Review: Okay. So, this is a review I really didn’t want to write because of the fact that I absolutely LOVED the concept behind it, but the execution of it was just…not awesome. It was extremely confusing to say the least, and it just made me really sad because fighting aliens, time travel, and questionable existences? All of that is awesome, as was the development of most of the technical elements. Most of them. I wish I could recommend “Rush”, but the ARC I read? It needed at least two more drafts to make things really readable. Hopefully all of that gets worked out by the time it gets pubbed. This review may have some spoilers, so you’ve been warned.
I’m giving an extra star for this one for the concept alone. It sounded SO awesome, and I think had it had a few more drafts (as I said before), it would have been four (or possibly five)-star worthy awesome. Aside from the plot (and a little bit of the character building), all of the other technical areas? Pretty well developed. Which is why this is precisely the review I really didn’t want to write.
First: the world. We have three different worlds within the first hundred pages or so – our current world, the alternate universe to our current world, and the space in-between where our main casts fights aliens. It makes me so happy that the space opera sub-genre is finally coming back to YA with a vengeance, and Rush has that in spades. The sensory imagery and language used to describe the Drau reminded me a lot of the Castithans from “Defiance” in terms of their coloring. But what we needed and really didn’t get was why the Drau were so dangerous, and why Miki and the other “chosen ones” (a good trope to use in this book, if any) literally “felt” how “wrong” they were, all the way down to their bones. I found it a fascinating concept that Miki and the others could feel things about the Drau this way, but almost a third of the way in and still no explanation about it. Not a word. And that was disappointing (and frustrating).
Second: the characters. Next to the plot, this was the area that needed the most revamping. While we get to know our main cast and MC on a pretty superficial level, which was sufficient for the parts I was reading. There was no insta-love up until I decided I couldn’t read on anymore as I was getting incredibly confused with the main plot and all of its arcs, which was a blessing, but at the same time, at the point where I stopped (a third of the way in), there should have been more development than there was.
What Silver does best: action/tension and sensory imagery/language. All of the action scenes were absolutely awesome, but it felt like there were too many of them in a row without enough pause for reflection, so the pacing was a bit off there in the sense that it was too fast. There needed to be some rest between scenes, and maybe a little bit more infodumping (I can’t believe I’m saying this as I usually HATE infodumping), or some kind of scene/chapter where we can stop and catch our breath. But the sensory language and imagery was fantastic, and that made up for a lot. A lot, but not nearly enough to save this book for me.
I think a lot of people are going to love “Rush” – I really wanted to, and I loved the idea that started it, but it just got so confusing with so many questions in terms of what came first in building the plot (why having to die? why is killing the Drau a game? why do they need time displacement? and so forth) and how they’re all put in order (or rather, lack there of) so unfortunately, this one just didn’t work for me. But that’s just me! “Rush” is out today from HarperTeen in North America, so be sure to check it out when you get the chance!