|Rush by Eve Silver|
There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Every moment of the game is kill or be killed, and Miki has only the questionable guidance of Jackson Tate, the team's alluring and secretive leader. He evades her questions, holds himself aloof from the others, and claims it's every player for himself. But when he puts himself at risk to watch Miki's back, he leaves her both frustrated and fascinated. Jackson 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 the planet. She laughs. He doesn't. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book going into it. I am not really a huge science fiction fan, nor do I normally find books about virtual reality appealing. And yet, I bought a copy of Rush and let it sit on my shelf for two years. Yesterday, on a whim, I decided to pick it up and give it a shot. While not the best written sci-fi out there, it was still enjoyable enough to finish and definitely leaves you wanting more. The second I finished it, I had to order book 2, because it leaves you with one hell of a cliffhanger!
Miki was easy to like, if not especially nuanced. It was easy to sympathize with her and understand her, and it was great that she was capable of taking care of herself. The premise of the book is intriguing, and I think that with more development, this series could be really amazing. Jackson, while an asshole at times, was my favorite character, and it was hard not to fall in love with him throughout the book.
I could be more forgiving of the flaws in this book if it were a freshman writing attempt. Because, that is how the book feels as you are reading it, as if it were written by a newbie author is trying to figure out exactly how to flesh out a novel and her characters. The Insta-Love is strong with this book, that's for sure. Not only Insta-Love, but hints of a love triangle Insta-Love, unless I am totally off base there. It is irritating when the heroine is in a life or death situation and she can't help but think about how hunky our lead is, or how much she wants to kiss him. Luckily, it only happened a couple of times and it wasn't as blatant as some books I have read have been. Romance has its time and place (Good god, I can't believe that I just said that) and occasionally this book forgot that. Science Fiction is really tough to write. It requires A LOT of world building, something this book seriously lacks. Even when the author was describing things, it never felt like enough. Everything felt very amorphous and hard to picture. Action is also really difficult to write, you have to find that sweet spot of keeping your readers anxious about what might happen next while also giving us enough description to really understand what was going on. While reading the action scenes in Rush, I was teetering back and forth from being on the edge of my seat, to being really bored because it was just so hard to picture exactly what was happening. And maybe that's my problem, maybe I just couldn't connect with her world or her characters.
While I know it looks like I had a lot more to say that was bad about this book than was good, I really do think it was an enjoyable book! I could recommend it to casual fans of science-fiction, and even romance fans. While not the best of either genres, there is still a little gem of a story here worth exploring. Hopefully the next book, Push, will work out some of the kinks and be even better! The third and final book of the trilogy, Crash, comes out June 9, 2015.