Book Review + Giveaway: The Rig by Joe Ducie

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Title: The RigThe Rig
Author: Joe Ducie
Genre: Thriller, Young Adult, Action, Mystery
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: September 2013
Pages: 368
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
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:

Will Drake has already escaped from three maximum security juvenile detention facilities. But he’s seen nothing like the Rig. Located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean at a former oil rig, it’s not just the conditions that are brutal. With a tracker accounting for each inmates every move and guards who are crueller than the weather – it seems like there’s no escape for Will. But he’s determined. With a techno-genius for a cell mate and a girl who helps Will discover some of the secrets the Rig holds, there’s nothing going to stop Will escaping… not even the mysterious Crystal-X.

From the first page of The Rig I felt like I was watching a movie. There’s so much cinematic potential for this book. From the helicopters landing on one of the five old oil platforms now turned prison for criminal youth to the brilliant sport Ducie came up with “Rig Ball” – I felt like I could see all the action playing out like a film.

Will is a great character to let us into the secrets of the Rig. He’s street smart and practical but he’s nobodies fool. We get to find out as we read that whilst he may be an inmate of one of the world’s toughest juvenile facilities, he’s not a bad guy. That said – he can hold his own even against super enhanced bullies. There’s more than meets the eye to Will – and we get to see that as hardened as prison has made him he still cares for his family and friends. Tristan – Will’s cell mate – is an oddly likeable guy. He’s a quiet guy who just wants to do his time and get out – the opposite in many ways to Will – but he’s willing to stand up for his friends no matter the consequences to himself. I liked him. His interaction with Irene, a female detainee on the other side of the Rig, was somewhat adorable to read as it unfolded and added a little to the comic relief for what is a mostly serious novel.

The action is this novel is brilliant. There’s a lot going on and Ducie has come up with some great concepts. The idea for his magnetized lacrosse game – known as Rig Ball – is as fun as it is absolutely brutal. The trackers which not only detect location but also keep track of how much the inmates owe the establishment for their stay is an interesting design that I thought was pretty cool. The plot around Crystal-X is something that I wish was developed a little further. There’s a lot about the blue crystal that I thought had a lot of potential however it felt a little out of place. This book is suspenseful and a great contemporary thriller up until about half way though when the Crystal-X is introduced and it brought me out of the story a little. The alien mineral gave the novel a paranormal element which just felt a little odd considering the rest of what was going on.

I enjoyed reading this book. Great characters with a setting so vivid I felt like I could be there on the Rig with Will and the others – this book was a brilliant read.

Thanks to Five Mile Press for the review copy

Purchase the Novel From: 
Amazon| Booktopia | Book Depository


Thanks to Five Mile Press, as a part of this blog tour I have 1 paperback copy of The Rig to giveaway. Open to Australian residents only.

To Enter:

Leave a comment at the bottom of this post and then click on the link below and fill in the form.


Entries close 14th October, 2013.

Winner will be drawn via and will have 48 hours to reply or another winner will be chosen.


Book Review: Escape from Eden by Elisa Nader

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Welcome to my stop on The Darkest Part blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.  Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

Title: Escape from Eden
Author: Elisa Nader
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller
Publisher: Merit PressElise 
Publication Date: 18th August 2013
Pages: 271Escape from Eden
4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Since the age of ten, Mia has lived under the iron fist of the fundamentalist preacher who lured her mother away to join his fanatical family of followers. In Edenton, a supposed “Garden of Eden” deep in the South American jungle, everyone follows the Reverend’s strict but arbitrary rules—even the mandate of whom they can marry. Now sixteen, Mia dreams of slipping away from the armed guards who keep the faithful in, and the curious out. When the rebellious and sexy Gabriel, a new boy, arrives with his family, Mia sees a chance to escape.

But the scandalous secrets the two discover beyond the compound’s façade are more shocking than anything they ever imagined. While Gabriel has his own terrible secrets, he and Mia bond together, more than friends and freedom fighters. But is there time to think of each other as they race to stop the Reverend’s paranoid plan to free his flock from the corrupt world? Can two teenagers crush a criminal mastermind? And who will die in the fight to save the ones they love from a madman who’s only concerned about his own secrets?

My Review:

Despite living in Edenton since she was ten, Mia longs to know what’s outside the perimeter. She misses the freedom of drawing and the memories she has of her father. Now she’s sixteen and things are changing inside the commune. There’s a new mysterious boy, Gabriel, who has his own plans of escaping. And there’s the prayer circle that girls are chosen to join but the details of are never discussed, When blind faith in the Edenton’s way of life is tested – Mia feels like she can’t be a part of a this way of living anymore.

I haven’t read many books which are about people being stuck within a cult before – and I think that’s a word that many would apply to Edenton. I commend Nader on the way she managed to describe the day-to-day living and the commitment her citizens of Edenton have in God and the Reverend. This is a scary place – their whole-hearted belief in the Reverend and his decisions is something that I find revolting and yet – I liked how Nader had her citizens following him passionately and yet without question.

Mia is a great character. She’s been so sheltered within the Edenton community that she seems to be naive but she’s questioning. I liked her innocence and how despite her lack of street smarts, she wasn’t stupid. And Gabriel was great comic relief at the start but he has his own share of secrets. I love characters who evolve over the course of a novel and both Mia and Gabriel did. Action wise – things progressed at a great rate. There was enough drama and adventure along with catastrophic events to keep things interesting but they felt natural in the way they unfolded.

This is a book that contains some fairly heavy issues. The compound which seems idyllic and paradise at first is hiding some incredible – and not in a good way – secrets. I can imagine that some of the actions that take place within its razorwire fences would make some readers upset and feel uncomfortable reading about them. For me – I was impressed that Nader dared to go there. She really impressed upon me as a reader just how bad the commune was and just why Mia was going to sacrifice her mother and everything else to free herself from the Reverend’s grasp.

I enjoyed Escape From Eden. It’s a great first novel dealing with tough issues and featuring some interesting and endearing characters.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Powell’s | IndieBound

About the Author

elisa nader

Hi. I’m Elisa. I like cheese and reading and TV show marathons. Writing is scary, but not as scary as, say, Civil War amputations. I’m an Aquarius. Uh… let’s see… I’m not very good at writing my own biography. Or autobiography. I guess this is reading more like a slightly incoherent personal ad.

Author Links:



There’s also a tour wide giveaway which is open internationally. Look at the prizes! I love that there is a notebook just like the one Mia would have used to sketch in!

eden giveaway

(2) Sets of Moleskine Sketchbook, set of Le Pen colored fine tip pens, a copy of Otherkin and Othermoon by Elisa’s crit partner Nina Berry, and a personalized copy of Escape from Eden


a Rafflecopter giveaway



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