From acclaimed thriller-suspense novelists Heather Graham and Jon Land comes a story of action, mystery, and the endurance of young love in The Rising.
Twenty-four hours. That's all it takes for the lives of two young people to be changed forever.
Alex Chin has the world on a plate. A football hero and homecoming king with plenty of scholarship offers, his future looks bright. His tutor, Samantha Dixon, is preparing to graduate high school at the top of her class. She plans to turn her NASA internship into a career.
When a football accident lands Alex in the hospital, his world is turned upside down. His doctor is murdered. Then, his parents. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes, and now it's after him.
Alex flees. He tells Samantha not to follow, but she became involved the moment she walked through his door and found Mr. and Mrs. Chin as they lay dying in their home. She cannot abandon the young man she loves. The two race desperately to stay ahead of Alex's attackers long enough to figure out why they are hunting him in the first place. The answer lies with a secret buried deep in his past, a secret his parents died to protect. Alex always knew he was adopted, but he never knew the real reason his birth parents abandoned him. He never knew where he truly came from. Until now.
Published January 17th 2017 by Macmillan Audio
Four Stars: An intense and exciting YA sci fi thriller full of suspense and surprises.
For Alex and Samantha, it is a typical Friday night in their home town. Alex is in his starring role as the local football hero. Meanwhile, Sam is feeling out of place at the football game, because usually she is studying or researching for her internship. Tonight, Sam is nursing her secret crush on Alex while she wrestles with whether she will help the mean girl clique, the Cat Pack, cheat on their biology test. Everything changes when Alex is severely injured on the field. Everyone fears that Alex may be permanently injured. At the hospital, things get weird for Alex. His test results are strange, and then his doctor is mysteriously murdered. Alex flees, but finds that danger has arrived at his doorstep. It seems his parents were hiding an enormous secret. One with interstellar repercussions. Once Alex learns the terrifying truth, he knows there is no going back. Can Alex save the world?
What I Liked:
- What a roller coaster! The Rising starts out like your average YA novel with two high school kids dealing with typical teenage problems. Then things take a sudden shift, and there are some stunning twists and turns. This is a terrific sci fi thriller that one can compare to Terminator and Independence Day. If you want a suspenseful, YA, sci fi thriller, this is an excellent pick.
- Alex and Sam are strong and interesting main characters. Alex, at first, comes off as the charming, jock who isn't academically inclined, but once danger comes calling, he digs deep and becomes courageous and resourceful. Sam is the nerdy, brainy type, but she, too, is so much more. She is smart, kind and loyal. Together they make the perfect team.
- The story takes some time to get going, and the beginning felt juvenile in comparison to the rest of the book. Once you get past those few high school chapters, things get fast and crazy. There are so many exciting developments from aliens, worm holes, alien invasion, cyborgs and cover up. I loved that the story kept surprising me. Prepare for action, danger and lots of surprises when you take on this one.
- There are a number of secondary characters, and it takes some time to determine whom you can trust. I enjoyed Rafe and the crazy NASA researcher.
- The ending was a mixed bag. At first, it seemed like all was well after the dust settled, but then things aren't as they seem and the reader learns this is just the beginning. I didn't know going in this was going to be a series, so I am excited to read more.
- I listened to the audiobook version narrated by the brilliant Luke Daniels. Mr. Daniels is one of my all time favorite narrators. He does a top notch job with the characters, and his unique voices for each character are superb. I know that I enjoyed the story much more listening to it thanks to Mr. Daniels. I highly recommend you check out the audio version.
And The Not So Much:
- As I mentioned, the early chapters had a strong teenage, typical high school vibe and I fear that many readers will be turned off. Be patient because after the initial chapters, the story takes off.
- The villains felt a bit one dimensional and cartoonish to me. I wasn't a fan of them, and I wished there was more development.
- There is a bit of romance, but felt that this portion too lacked depth. I wish there was more development. Yes, Sam has harbored a secret crush, but Alex's side was weak.
- The chapters are short and there are over a hundred chapters in the book. There are numerous view points and narration shifts. Sometimes it was too much and it made the book choppy.
- The ending had a cliffhanger. I thought it was all settled and then a cliffhanger is slapped on you.
The Rising is an exciting and entertaining YA sci fi thriller. This is a fast paced book with danger, action, aliens, devious villains, cyborgs and a planned alien invasion. Prepare for excitement and lots of twists and turns. If you are wanting a solid YA sci fi book, this is one to try. I highly recommend the audiobook version narrated by the brilliant Luke Daniels.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.
Here is an audiobook sample clip: