Title: Rush (The Game #1)
Author: Eve Silver
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
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.
This book was recommended to me by a friend of mine of Goodreads, who raved about what an amazing book this is and how much I would love it. Which was why is was so surprised and disappointed that I really didn’t like it. I know that obviously everyone has different opinions but a lot of people I know on Goodreads at least enjoyed this book, whereas I had quite a few problems with it.
In this book, the main character Miki gets hit by a car and dies. Except she wakes up surrounded by four other kids who tell her that she is now part of a “game” where they have to jump through time and space and fight alien invaders that want to destroy Earth. She takes this all in pretty well and instantly falls for hunky team leader Jackson, who is super mysterious and kind of a raging asshole. So Miki gets a second chance at life, as long as she keeps killing aliens and manages not to die in the game.
My first problem with this was that the concept behind this book was a little iffy. Now, I will admit that I was skim reading at some parts so maybe I missed a few things, but some aspects just seem silly. Teenagers that die, are brought into this “game” to fight aliens so they don’t take over the planet. But these kids are told nothing about how to use their weapons, what to expect from the enemy, nothing to prepare themselves so they don’t die in combat. They are just thrust in, because that’s how the people controlling it want it to be. Oh and they decided to use the game concept so the teenagers could relate to it better. I really don’t get that at all, if there is a war going on, why would you treat this like a game with point systems and head shots and stupid shit like that? Why not resurrect these kids, train them, tell them what’s happening, and leave it at that. The game aspect of the book seemed absolutely unnecessary. Plus, they can stop and basically control time and bring kids back to life (kinda) but when one of them actually dies in battle, they just kind of shrug and let them die? How does that make sense at all?
I was interested in how the kids got resurrected and why they got chosen, it was cool to read about their ancestors and the planets the aliens had conquered before. And I did like all the time and space jumping, I’m a fan of Doctor Who so I was hoping it would be a bit more in depth when it was first made clear that they could alter time, but it was really only used as means for them to get around and not have to come up with an excuse to tell their parents where they went for hours.
As for the characters, Miki was okay. She was spunky and knew some ninja moves, but that was about it. She seemed rather one dimensional through the book, missing complex layers, and everything about who she was, was just laid out on the table for you. The author basically just tells you that she is sad and angry, and anytime that is brought up in the book, we get some big explanation about how it ties in with her mom dying. Instead of letting Miki’s actions tell you how she feels or why she has certain emotions, the reasons are just handed to you. Also, I found it unrealistic how she just immediately was down with everything. She barely protested to being thrown into this game and when no one would give her answers, instead of demanding them, she just kind of went with it and almost died because asshole Jackson would tell her nothing. But she was okay with it. She never really got mad about this situation, and that made me mad.
Jackson was a jerk. I get that he is super hot and mysterious, but he is still as jerk. He instantly is drawn to Miki and tries to protect her, getting another player killed instead of explaining things to Miki beforehand so she could actually defend herself and he could help everyone. Jackson was basically Edward Cullen. Miki knows something is off about him, that there are secrets he is keeping but she can’t help but be draw to him. And he constantly tells her that he is a bad guy and she should stay away from him, but he can’t control himself and stay away from her. Not even kidding, there is even a scene where they are sitting at lunch, talking about his deep love for her and how she should stay away from him because he is dangerous and is in no way a good guy and she swoons. Twilight anyone? Plus, they didn’t have that much interaction through the book, and the insta-love was sickening.
The other characters aren’t even really worth mentioning. There was another boy that was basically there just to flirt with Miki so Jackson could stomp around and try to claim her as his territory like a man. So she could swoon as the look of jealousy on his face. It was all very engaging. Then there was Miki’s best friend who was just a first class bitch. I don’t understand what purpose she had in the story, other than to give you someone to hate more than Jackson.
The plot itself, while interesting at first, slowed down almost instantly and bored me at most parts. There wasn’t really much driving the plot, in terms of mystery or intrigue. Sure, Miki wants to know what’s going on, but she basically just has to wait around for Jackson to feel in the mood to give her answers, or pull some super impressive spot-on guess out of her ass. She never really was proactive about anything, and it felt like she was just along for the ride the whole time. Jackson’s big dark secret had the potential to be interesting, but fell flat. And the ending, oh my god guys, that ending. Let’s just say, it basically had a ‘slow motion, jumping in front of a bullet for the person you love’ scene, complete with half sobbed love confessions and tons of drama. At least I got a good laugh out of it.
To be honest, I really feel bad that I didn’t like this book. The writing style seems awkward and never really engaged me. The characters were all either bleh, or I absolutely hated them. And the plot felt like it had lots of holes and lacked the extra something it needed to keep me interested. I will give it points though for an interesting concept and involving aliens, which I don’t read much about. Although I am interested to see where this all goes, and to get some of the huge gaps filled in, I don’t think I’ll be reading the next book.