Published by Five Mile Press, Hot Key Books on September 5, 2013
Genres: Action & Adventure, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult
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Winner of 2012 Guardian Hot Key Books Young Writers Prize.
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.
My review: Making the impossible seem possible
Reading The Rig is like putting together a puzzle – you know how it’s going to end, but you don’t know how it’s going to get there. From a seemingly impossible situation, to one that slowly and surely unravels as opportunities arise, The Rig presented a perfectly paced story about imprisonment and escape.
As a fan of the show Prison Break, I had to see how The Rig approached the topic and made it unique. Set in an oil rig in the middle of the ocean, where prisoners are chained to trackers which monitor their every movement, this prison could be the cruelest and most difficult place to escape. If anyone was to do it, it would be Will Drake, two time escapist from two other juvenile prisons.
For the first half of the book, the author takes us through Will Drake’s seemingly endless schedule where his tracker records his every movement. From meal times, to his grubby job cleaning up The Tubes, to free time, any step outside his timed schedule will cause a warning to be sent out. This is the time where Drake spends his time observing his surroundings, testing the waters, and getting to know some of the other inhabitants – including his tech smart room mate Tristan, the trustworthy Dr Lambros, the guard Brand and the disciplinary Warden Storm. Pacing is slow during this time, but it allowed the suspense to really build up and the reader to understand the inner workings of The Rig and the impossibility of the situation.
Drake was an interesting character, one that was guarded and overconfident at the start, but definitely warmed up towards the end. He’s always been alone and determined to stay distant, but soon realises that he needs to count on the people around him to help him achieve the impossible feat. The friendship he builds with Tristan and Irene was reliant at first but he eventually begins to enjoy their company and companionship, where we really see him grow as a character. The character development over the course of the novel was amazing, as we began to connect with him when he let other people in.
My only one gripe is the predictability of the ending, save for the dark secrets that the prison holds. I don’t think there was any other direction you could take a prison break novel though, and there was certainly enough here to add to the genre.
The Rig’s build up and suspense was its most compelling part, as it makes a seemingly impossible feat possible over the course of the novel. The depth of the world building is amazing, as we discover the inner workings of the rig itself and how it is used as a prison. With the added bonus of the dark secret and mystery itself, I found this book really hard to put down. The Rig was intense, gripping and suspenseful, and I definitely recommend it to all readers.
Rating: 4 out of 5
About the Author
Joe Ducie, 25, was born in Britain and lives in Perth, Western Australia. He graduated from Edith Cowan University with a Degree in Counterterrorism, Security and Intelligence in 2010 and completed post-graduate studies in Security Science in 2011. He has also studied Creative and Professional Writing at Curtin University.
Joe’s work involves border protection, liaisons between domestic and international military forces, and private security consulting. He travels frequently and, as a result, does a lot of his writing in airport lounges. Joe is a writer of primarily urban fantasy and science fiction.
Giveaway – Australia only
To celebrate the release of The Rig, the publisher is giving away a paperback copy of The Rig to two lucky readers of Happy Indulgence! I think as Aussies we’re used to being excluded from giveaways that are restricted to US only, so here’s your exclusive chance to win!
Fill out the rafflecopter form below for your chance to win!
- Must have an Australian address and over 13 to enter.
- Winners will be chosen at random and must respond within 48 hours, or a new winner will be picked.
- Only genuine rafflecopter entries only – these will be checked and any fake entries will be removed.
- Prize will be sent from the publisher.
- Entries close 14 October 2013.
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