So I wasn't sold on this book from day 1. The premise is the main character is pulled from her real life, into what appears to be a real life video game, where she has to eliminate an alien life form. Basically, kind of Hunger Games meets Books of Valor - so I was half sold, but half leery because this will either end fantastically, or in a slightly painful tug of war.
So the thing is Silver pulls it off. RUSH is a lot of fun - Miki is clueless, frustrated and terrified because there are aliens and what is going on because guys, aliens, but if you die in the game, you die in real life. Her teammates try and fill her in, but when she goes back to real life (I'm old, so I kept having Matrix flashbacks) she tries to find out what's going on but that's harder than she expected. Miki is a pretty great character - she knows how to fight and despite her being confused she picks up quickly - strong young female characters I'm generally a fan of, especially when authors don't fall into cliche's. I will say that this is the first of a series, and does end with a cliffhanger. We've discussed that this drives me insane. I get why authors do it, I think they have to do it, but you know. Insane.
I think generally this is a book that teens can grab on to - first person shooter games, anime, MMO are all aspects that will grab the reader's interest. The originality of the book is also a draw - I certainly haven't read a book with a similar plot and I read a lot. I've recently been on a young adult specific book kick, and this one's plot stuck out (in a good way) when it comes to originality. I liked it because the book started out a bit slow, but that makes sense because the reader grows and learns with Miki - the pacing actually ended up being fantastic. I would basically throw this book at any teenage reader - it's a refreshing change from the outright supernatural (even though I admittedly do love the supernatural).
**I recieved an ARC copy at OLA Super Conference.