Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Rising by Jon Land and Heather Graham

Authors: Jon Land, Heather Graham
Publisher: Tor Books
Date of publication: January 2017

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.

I didn't know a lot about The Rising going into it.  I have read a ton of books by Heather Graham and I had no idea she was collaborating with another author.  The Rising is a Sci-fi ,YA-ish  novel about an all american football high school boy whose life turns upside down when he is injured in a game.  He has always known he was adopted.  He just never knew the real story of how his Asian parents came to adopt a blond hair, blue eyed baby.  What he learns is beyond his imagination.

I thought this book was a lot of fun.  I enjoyed the developing friendship between Alex and Samantha (Sam).  I really liked Alex.  He is your average football star who is thrust into a strange situation.  But he never lost that teenage innocence as he is thrust into having to choose whether or not he wanted to become a hero.  I also loved that he wasn't the smartest kid in the story. In fact, he is pretty average.  It was kind of refreshing.

The science of the book was a little confusing at times.  I'm not sure I'll ever understand the theory of wormholes.  But, my confusion didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story.  There are some familiar sci-fi tropes, but they really worked in this book. There is some  mature violence, so I would probably keep this to older YA readers.  The ending left a lot of unanswered question so I can't wait for the next book for the answers.

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