Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Harelquin Teen
Author Links: Goodreads | Website | Facebook
3 seconds left to live.Once the countdown starts, it cannot be stopped.
2 pawns thrown into a brutal underground reality game. Kira Jordan survived her family's murder and months on plague-devastated city streets with hard-won savvy and a low-level psi ability. She figures she can handle anything. Until she wakes up in a barren room, chained next to the notorious Rogan Ellis.
1 reason Kira will never, ever trust Rogan. Even though both their lives depend on it.
Their every move is controlled and televised for a vicious exclusive audience. And as Kira's psi skill unexpectedly grows and Rogan's secrets prove ever more deadly, Kira's only chance of survival is to risk trusting him as much as her instincts. Even if that means running head-on into the one trap she can't escape.
This book was originally published in 2008 as an adult novel, under the author's pseudonym Michelle Maddox. When she got the rights back, she turned it into a young adult novel.
I'm not sure what the original was like, but this version was a fast-paced thrill ride!
It mixed up quite a few cool ideas, and ended up being totally entertaining to read.
First up is the whole idea that these two kids are trapped in a game of survival, which is being televised for the entertainment of a secret group of viewers. So the vast majority of the people in this dystopian society have no idea that anything like this game even exists.
Second. you have Kira's psi abilities, which gives the story a paranormal twist. She has the ability to read emotions like guilt or kindness from people. It doesn't seem like they're much to write home about, but as the story progresses she finds them a bit more useful that she originally thought. She also learns that her powers aren't as freakish as she first believed, and there are other children cropping up like her all over the place. Some of them are even living in a domed city, and being trained to hone their skills.
Third, you have the the very sci-fi idea that an artificial intelligence has (unbeknownst to humans) started a takeover of our world. Very creepy!
So Rowan took some of my favorite genres, put them in a blender, and poured out a cocktail that was a lot of fun to read.
I think I'll name this new genre Parascitopian.
Damn, I'm good!
It's Running Man, Matrix, and Hunger Games all rolled into one! And really, how can you go wrong with something like that?
The only thing the least bit negative I have to say is that the world-building wasn't spectacular. Don't get me wrong, it was explained well enough so that you understood everything, but I would have loved to have seen the society a little more in-depth.
There was plenty of wiggle room left over for this book to have a sequel, though. Perhaps more things will be revealed in a future book?