Push - Eve Silver

I had the privilege of reviewing Eve Silver's Rush before it first came out in 2013. The sequel is just as adventurous, thrilling, and impressive as the first book. So without further ado, here we go...

That was just the beginning, and the end. End of the known and familiar. Beginning of my new reality, where I jump between my life as plain old Miki Jones, and an alternative world where I fight the Drau—beautiful, terrifying alien predators bent on conquering Earth.

I don't understand it. I don't get how it works. All I know is that one minute I was trying to save Janice Harper's little sister from getting hit by a speeding truck; the next I was lying in the road, broken and bloody. Dying. Dead. I woke up in a grassy clearing called the lobby, alive, healed, not hurt at all, lying on my back, staring up at a handsome face and old-school, mirrored aviator shades—both of which belonged to Jackson Tate.

Silver's writing is taught, her prose as sharp and deadly as the blade Miki carries into battle as the new leader of her fighting team in "The Game." While much of the first book in this engaging series explains the principles of the game and the rules surrounding Miki's new life and experiences, Push gives Silver's characters a bit more time to think and develop their relationships with one another (romantic or not). The details of the game are still vague, but that gives readers more unknown to draw them in. The main thing we know, is that the battles against alien attackers is set up exactly like a video game:
We earn points for taking out the Drau: five for a sentinel, ten for a specialist, fifteen for a leader, twenty for a commander. Extra points for head-shots and multi-hits and stealth hits. We get charged points for weapons and we lose points for injuries. If a player gets a thousand points, they're out. At least, that's the rumor.
Miki, our hero, is a wonderful character. As a women's studies student, I have to say that I really appreciate strong female protagonists. Miki is fully realized and Silver gives her lots of page space to develop. Readers are given a very comprehensive look into Miki's mind, her motivations, her fears, her loves and losses; Miki is a truly complex and strong character for the book's audience to get close to and love. But she's also brutal and can hold her own:
I lunge, thrust, making up moves as I go because this sure as hell isn't anything I learned in kendo. This is a miserable, wretched slaughterhouse where I hack at limbs and chests and heads, stab at torsos—anything to hold them off.
I remember back to the first book where I first fell for Miki. I am a HUGE fan of diversity in YA and I was so excited to see a character of non-caucasian descent who was also conscious of her difference as something that should not be fetishized:
My features reflect the fact that my mom's dad was Nisei--second-generation Japanese American--but my eyes are my dad's mom's unique shade of indigo blue. Every time people tell me I look 'exotic,' I have to resist the urge to kick them in the shin.
The other characters are also developed. Besides Luka, though, we don't see many of the characters outside of the action-packed moments within the game. The Committee is slightly more developed in this instalment, but readers will still want to pick up the third book in order to (hopefully) see it all resolved!
For readers of sci-fi / fantasy / and even romance, this is a book that will keep even more reluctant readers engrossed.

Highly Recommended

(Note: This review is from an Advanced Reading Copy - Out June 10, 2014)


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