“How do you feel?” he asks again, forceful, insistent.
For some reason, I think of Tyrone and the way he seemed better down here, more focused, more – “Alive,” I whisper. It hits me. When I’m on a mission, I don’t feel the gray fog weighing down every thought, every action. “I feel alive and it’s a rush.”
Today’s entertainment is saturated with video games based on every storyline and theme you could come up with. It’s not overly surprising that an author has decided to take that form of entertainment and use it as the background for the common Teen survival story. Eve Silver has done just that with Rush.
Miki Jones knows death. Losing her mother to cancer has made her painfully familiar with it, but when she is complete unprepared when a fatal experience of her own brings her into a game of survival. It’s a game with a health bar and scores and bonus hits, and with a small team she fights an alien face called the Drau who is trying to take over the world. In the game she also meets Jackson Tate and he makes the danger and reality of the game somewhat bearable. But Miki will eventually learn the truth of this so-called game and come to realize it’s not what it seems to be. Firstly, some kind of higher power is controlling the game and deciding who gets pulled in to fight. Secondly, unlike the video games she is used to, when you die in this one you don’t magically come back to life. Miki is made painfully aware of this in her first round and eventually she will come to realize just how dangerous things have truly become.
Rush has all the elements you would come to expect from a teen novel: the survival aspect, the almost-love triangle, the tragic personal loss. It’s extremely fast-paced with Miki being dropped into her first “game” within the first few chapters, and it maintains this pace for most of the novel. The reader is thrown back and force between the Miki’s life in the real world and the game she is pulled into without any warning. Silver also leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Though Miki does at one point come face to face with the unknown powers calling the shots in the game, that exchange leaves the reader with more questions than answers and when the ending is taken into consideration a second novel is no doubt in the works.
I think Silver did a great job with the development of her characters. There are many characters beyond just the main two or three that are fully fleshed out with their own quirks and unique emotional flavors so the story doesn’t fall flat when those main characters interact with others around them, such as Luka or Richelle. There’s also a certain amount of emotion worked into the storyline. Miki and her father experienced a tragic loss, as have most of the other more prominent characters as well, and that sense of loss underlines most of the novel. It gives an added dimensional in a genre that can often be very simple at the surface.
Being a gamer myself, I was personally hoping for a bit more nerdy goodness. There were certain elements that Silver included which provoked that game feeling- the score board, the life meters worn at their wrists, the system of bonus hits- but somewhere along the way I felt that aspect of the book was pushed aside for the grander notion of what they were actually fighting against. When she mentioned that a certain point level actually freed the player from inclusion in the game (and saved them from the fate awaiting them in the “real” world) I got excited and thought that something more would have been done with that idea. Maybe that’s coming in a future novel, but I ended up feeling somewhat slighted that the major appeal of the book, the idea of actually being put into a video game of sorts, wasn’t as encompassing as I had first hoped it would be. However, the book is still a fast-paced thriller with complex characters that draw you deeper into the story and the game that is pulling them down.
Rush by Eve Silver has a really unique concept, one that I hope is put to even more use and becomes even more prominent in any future novels published in this series. Silver did a great job of writing a book that doesn’t fall under the ever-popular post-apocalyptic umbrella while still incorporating the aspects of that genre that make it so appealing: survival, danger and flawed characters.
Devon – a1000booklife