Author: Eve Silver
Series: The Game #2
Genre: Teen Fantasy
Rating: 2/5 stars
Release Date: June 10, 2014
The Overview: It’s either break the rules or die. Miki Jones lives her life by her own strict set of rules, to keep control, to keep the gray fog of grief at bay. Then she’s pulled into the Game, where she—and her team—will die unless she follows a new set of rules: those set by the mysterious Committee. But rules don’t mean answers, and without answers, it’s hard to trust. People are dying. The rules are unraveling. And Miki knows she’s being watched, uncertain if it’s the Drau or someone—something—else. Forced to make impossible choices and battling to save those she loves, Miki begins to see the Committee in a glaring new light. And then the Game crosses a new boundary, pushes harder into Miki’s and her friends’ lives, and there’s nothing in the rules that can save them now.
I was really looking forward to Push, especially after the awesome direction Rush was headed when it ended. It promised to focus on all the things I enjoyed about the first book and move away from all the things I didn’t. Instead, Push kind of stagnated around all the same issues without much of a story progression at all. Heck, I’d even go so far as to say it regressed a little. I’m disappointed to say it was not the action-packed amazing novel I’d hoped it would be.
I had a lot of issues with the relationship development in the first book – a seemingly smart, independent girl who fawns over a guy despite the fact that she thinks he’s a total asshole – and was hoping the change in direction of the story would get the main character away from that codependent focus. It did not. The first half of the book, which I thought would be packed with adventure and excitement (the good stuff) was like reading one big long soliloquy about how much she hates him, how much she loves him, how much she misses him, and what she needs to do to get him back. Here I am thinking she’d grown enough to stand strongly on her own, but evidently the story couldn’t progress until she smoothed out her love life. Sheesh.
If I had been able to get behind the relationship in the first place, the huge focus on it probably wouldn’t have bothered me so much. I live for a good love story, and even expect it from my YA novels, but in this case, it just didn’t work for me. Even after all this time, I still can’t see a compelling reason why the relationship started and why it’s continuing. It could be just me, though. So if you enjoyed the love angle of the first book, no doubt you will enjoy it here. I just found a lot to be desired.
If this series took place entirely within The Game, it wouldn’t be too much for me. There are thousands of teen drama love stories out there, but only a handful of really cool takes on what it would be like to live in a video game. The concept is still my favorite part of the story, and I think it would have benefited Silver to pour more of her focus into it. As it were, some of the story was set in the alternate existence, but not enough to really progress the main overall conflict of the series (unless the main conflict is the romance, in which case that’s certainly getting enough attention). There was one single ray of hope in the form of an added plot element within The Game – one which I can’t even talk about because it’s a spoiler – and it added a fascinating wrinkle to the story. All I have to say is, if I read on it will be because of that single interesting plot point.
Overall, I hoped for more…. but I seem to be in the minority yet again.
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