I received this book for free from Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Rush by Eve Silver
Series: The Game #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on June 11th, 2013
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
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.
I don’t even really know where to start. Maybe just with this: you know it’s a bad sign when you’re reading a book and rolling your eyes every other page. The overall reading experience of Rush was one filled with annoyance. And while the concept may have still delivered to a certain extent, I cannot honestly say that I enjoyed reading this book. Let’s look at the reasons why.
1. I hated the main character.Let me start here, with the main character Miki. I hate her. It isn’t that she’s a Mary Sue stereotypical female main character, and to a certain extent she holds her own in battles and is relatively brave. But it’s her inner monologue. For one, she thinks about guys *all the time* – which maybe wouldn’t be a big deal if this weren’t a story about saving the planet, you know. And then, she keeps saying like, “Oh, there’s not time for thinking about romance, so I won’t.” But then she does. And just… *headdesk*.
But what annoyed me most of all with her inner monologue is that apparently… she’s psychic! And I don’t mean that literally, it’s not a part of the story, but on almost every page there’s a case of, “Miki knows all”. What do I mean by that? “He said that, but I knew he really meant that.” “I suddenly realized he knew why x happened, he just wanted me to figure it out for myself.” And in moderation, that may not bother me too much – it would be a sign that she has good instincts. But almost every page, people. Thus, the eye rolling began. The worst part is that she apparently thinks everything anyone does concerns her. Like “the two male love interests share a look – oh, it must be because they’re both in love with me, EEP.” It’s not that she’s really self-centered, but all these little mentions have the same effect.
2. We got the YA clichés covered!So, should we do a little checklist of YA stereotypes? Love triangle – CHECK. Firmly established within the first quarter of the book. What does that mean? Well obviously it’s not a well developed love triangle by any means.
Oh, but I suppose the author shook it up a little with the next YA stereotype – the bitchy best friend, who overreacts because of one thing and then is a typical mean girl to the main character. But eventually she becomes a part of the love triangle, so it’s really a love square. Novelty! Yay!
3. The romance makes me want to barf.There is so much wrong with this romance that I can’t even. Okay, so it’s a love triangle for a while, but there’s obviously one side that dominates. Jackson is typecast as the mysterious, bad boy, asshole who secretly has a heart of gold. The author tried to make this into a love-hate relationship, but failed miserably. Why? From the first time they meet, Miki is basically drooling over how hot he is and whatever. Every now and again he says something cryptic and she narrates that she hates him, but then goes back to drooling just like that and imagining how mindblowingly epic a kiss with him would be. (Not exaggerating.) I’m sorry, but if you’re going for a love-hate relationship, you have to do it better than that. This was so poorly developed and transparent. I honestly couldn’t care less whether they ended up together or not. Besides not caring for Miki at all, I also had no attachment to Jackson. And I haven’t even begun about how she trusts him completely while he mysteriously seems to know all about the game, the aliens, while no one else does – that’s just weird, man. Be suspicious!
Aside from that, the romance was filled with such juvenile ridiculousness as:
I pull out the little water bottle at my waist, take a drink, then hesitate. Cutting him a sidelong glance, I think about his lips on my water bottle, then mine, then his. I look down at my lap and take a slow breath. Then I turn my head and hold the bottle out toward him.
He smiles a little, like he knows what I’m thinking. I feel that smile shimmer through me all the way to my toes. His fingers brush mine as he takes the bottle from my hand. He tips his head back and takes a drink, and I watch the muscles of his throat move as he swallows. ARC of Rush, Eve Silver
But at about 80% we got the kicker:
“I’m trying to stay away from you. I’m not a good guy, Miki.”
There he goes again with the mysterious warnings. “Are you saying that to convince me, or yourself?”
He smiles a little. “I know I shouldn’t be here alone with you, yet here I am. Because I want what I want, not what’s best for you. That proves my point. Not a good guy. No mixed message there.” ARC of Rush, Eve Silver
… Twilight? Anyone?
4. Plot… what plot?The plot I was expecting was filled with action-packed battles with aliens and an exciting mystery of what this game is and why Miki has been pulled. It fell short. There were three “missions”/games where they fought with aliens, but they were really short. All of the book is interspersed with romantic musings, which seem totally out of place. And the battles that were there were hard to believe. The descriptions of the aliens fell short. What I can tell is that they’re made of light and have weird eyes. If you’re hit by the light or look in their eyes there is “unspeakable pain” or something. The humans get these “cylinders”, which shoot black shadow-y stuff by psychic command, as their weapons. The fighting itself was often described as, “I shot, spun, shot again.” I missed the kind of thoroughness of, for example, Angelfall, where the battles are described so magically that the evidence that the author took up fight classes for research drips off the page. I suppose it also helps that there was too much telling and not enough showing. Indeed, the writing is nothing to write home about.
And in between these few battles, Miki is occupied with her high school drama of the love triangle, with the guys competing for her affections, the best friend being mad at her, etc. Also, she tries to find answers as to what the game means, who controls it, and so on, but that seldom yields fruit and at no point was there a surprising answer. I expected to be wowed and shocked, but I spent most of the book as a passive observer, which made it all a little… boring.
Summing Up:I think it’s fair to say I will not be continuing with this series. Spending a whole book either being bored or rolling your eyes will do that to you. While this obviously wasn’t a book I loved, it also wasn’t a book I hated. I was just bored. It doesn’t stand out. The best I can say about it is it’s pretty short, but it would have benefited from more pages, so that the world building could have been more thorough, the game could have been explained better, and the relationships between characters could have developed more gradually (and thus believably).
Time for a PUN: The romance, which was way too prevalent, and the overall plot felt RUSHed.