by Joe Ducie
Published: 5th September 2013 by Hot Key Books
Version: Paperback from publisher (review my own, honest opinion)
Rating: 4 sofas
Fifteen-year-old Will Drake has made a career of breaking out from high-security prisons. His talents have landed him at The Rig, a specialist juvenile holding facility in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. No one can escape from The Rig. No one except for Drake…
After making some escape plans and meeting the first real friends of his life, Drake quickly realises that all is not as it seems on The Rig. The Warden is obsessed with the mysterious Crystal-X – a blue, glowing substance that appears to give superpowers to the teens exposed to it. Drake, Tristan and Irene are banking on a bid for freedom – but can they survive long enough to make it?
Drake is an action hero to rival Jason Bourne and the CHERUB team in this debut author’s fantastically imagined sci-‐fi nightmare.
For fans of Bourne and CHERUB? Sold! If this book is compared to two of my favourite things ever, then it HAS to be good. Adding to that, I adored the tv series Prison Break so this sounds totally like my kind of book.
We meet Will on his arrival at The Rig, where he has been sent after breaking out of previous juvenile detentions. But stranded on an oil rig in the middle of a shark-infested ocean, it seems unlikely that he will get out of this one. Not to mention the substance which the Warden is secretly harvesting that gives people special abilities. This book is packed full of mystery and suspense, and kept me turning pages till the very end.
Character wise, it did take me a while to warm to Will. He is a loner and a bad boy, and I couldn’t really connect with him. I did feel sorry for Tristan, and I enjoyed watching his friendship with Will grow stronger. As for the other inmates, it had more of a school feel than a prison. I know this is YA so wasn’t as violent or harsh as I expected, but there was a lot of banter and pushing-in-the-halls type feeling.
Although the ending was left open (and I think there is a sequel in the works) , it can be taken as a standalone. I left the book satisfied. I am definitely looking forward to the next one, but I don’t feel the frustration that occurs with most cliffhanger endings. So for that, I thank you Mr Ducie!
There is a lot of a great world building, and yet I come away with lots of questions, about the world before the Rig, and the Alliance outside of it. What are the plans for this blue substance, and where is it all going? The fact that I come away wanting to know more shows that I really did enjoy the story, and I am eager to delve deeper into this world.
Overall The Rig was an action packed thriller that kept me gripped to the very end. I can’t wait to find out more about the world surrounding the Rig, and I am behind Will, Tristan and Irene all the way. Definitely recommended for fans of boarding school novels and thrillers. 4 sofas!