Recoil by Joanne Macgregor
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi (Dystopian), Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (250 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Stargazer
When a skilled gamer gets recruited as a sniper in the war against a terrorist-produced pandemic, she discovers there’s more than one enemy and more than one war. The Game is real.
Three years after a series of terrorist attacks flooded the US with a lethal plague, society has changed radically.
Sixteen year-old Jinxy James spends her days trapped at home – immersed in virtual reality, worrying about the plague and longing for freedom. Then she wins a war simulation game and is recruited into a top-secret organisation where talented teenagers are trained to become agents in the war on terror. Eager to escape her mother’s over-protectiveness and to serve her country, Jinxy enlists and becomes an expert sniper of infected mutant rats.
She’s immediately drawn to Quinn O’Riley, a charming and subversive intelligence analyst who knows more about the new order of government and society than he is telling. Then a shocking revelation forces Jinxy to make an impossible decision, and she risks losing everything.
Recoil is the first book in a Young Adult dystopian romance trilogy, and makes great reading for lovers of Rick Yancey (The Fifth Wave), Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games), and Veronica Roth (Divergent).
When a game is how we connect with the world; we let the creators of the game shape what the world will become. The simple humanity that we take for granted in day to day life is stripped away when people are made into virus bombs-destroying all that we hold dear. The choices that impact Jinx James, the main character, aim to strike each reader at the core of humanity. From the very beginning, Jinx is challenged to work through the social awkwardness that has crippled the nation’s youth due to forced quarantine. Jinx makes several friends and from these friendships she grows and strengthens her resolve as a maturing individual.
Throughout the book, Jinx is challenged to push forward and the challenges for her continue to mount. The author shows a great character concept development with interactions between Jinx, Quinn, Bruce, Sarge and Leya. The interactions and conversations are realistic and you can see the subtle character development which makes the characters relatable and human.
I especially enjoy the psychological development and growth exhibited by the changing environments and challenges that Jinx and her squad are forced to face. The behind the scenes reality that there is more going on than is initially presented forces the reader to consider the secrecy at higher governmental levels and what may be in store for the characters.
The author’s description from the very first introduction of The Game Jinx initially plays shows a well-rounded researched position in order to fully put the reader in the first person view of Jinx. From here the author does not let down on details, research and explanation of the feelings of the main character. The author does an amazing job at keeping suspense, mystery and character development in balance while making the reader hang on and keep reading.
Recoil is the first in the Recoil Trilogy and I look forward to reading more of the author’s take on the startling developments in the world turned upside down by fear and disease. If you enjoy reading about overcoming personal challenges and looking at looking at the world and those who shape the world behind the scenes, be sure to pick up a copy of Recoil. You will not be let down!