by Eve Silver
Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins
Rush and Push, Books 1 and 2 respectively of Eve Silver's The Game trilogy, do read them first. Crash will be all the more enjoyable with the background gleaned from the first two books. And you'll see why Rush won the 2015 White Pine award of the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading readers' choice award program.
Everything that teen Miki Jones thought she knew about the game–in which she and boyfriend Jackson and friend Luka are pulled into by the Committee to fight the alien Drau–comes crashing down in Crash, Eve Silver's final book of her The Game trilogy.
As debilitating and off-centering as the car crash that has landed both Miki's father and her best friend Carly clinging to life in hospital, so is Miki's understanding of how the game works after she finds herself telepathically communicating with an unarmed Drau who pleads for mercy. This is not the enemy they’ve all been told about. And now there’s some weird stuff going on in the game, with the players feeling sluggish and images breaking up into pixels, and then it’s not even being played the way they’ve learned it to be. Even outside the game, Miki keeps getting this creepy feeling like she’s being watched.
So not only is she worrying about her father and Carly and maybe even Jackson leaving her like so many important people in her life already have, now she is brought before the Committee who question her about that encounter with the Drau. Fortunately, Jackson's sister, Lizzie, who had died in the game but has connected with Miki from a different dimension, instructs Miki how to keep the Committee from getting inside her head and taking over all her memories.
Everything is a muddle. How is Miki to reconcile what she knows, what she believes, what she feels, and what Jackson says and does, with what they are being told? Too many inconsistencies and the feeling of being manipulated has Miki on a trajectory to crash through everything she knows or thinks she knows.
Crash is a fitting conclusion, wrapping up The Game trilogy with a very convincing resolution to the story of manipulation for entertainment purposes by an almost omnipotent entity. And while Eve Silver reassures the reader that there are happy endings for seemingly ill-fated couples and that for those repeatedly overwhelmed by loss it is not endless, The Game trilogy is a cautionary tale of finding enjoyment in war and destruction, even if it seems to be only in an action-packed role-playing game. Enjoy the action of the story, including a number of cliff-hangers, but heed its subtle message. Eve Silver has shared it so expressively, making it worthy of noting.