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The Rising is a collaboration between prolific writers Heather Graham and Jon Land. It is a science-fiction type suspense novel with a little, clean romance thrown in. It seems geared towards young adults. While I often enjoy young adult novels with well-developed characters, I was a little disappointed with the simplistic young adult vibe in this. The two high school protagonists are likeable characters but rather stereo-typed: Alex Chin, the star quarterback with the cheerleader girlfriend, and Samantha Dixon, the brainy overachiever who interns at NASA and who tutors Alex and has been harboring a secret crush on him. The one thing that makes Alex stand out a bit is the fact that he is a Caucasian kid who lives with his adoptive Chinese immigrant parents. An injury during a football game and a subsequent stay in hospital are the turning points of Alex's life as he knew it. Soon he finds himself on the run accompanied by Samantha.
The story combines familiar tropes from various popular sci-fi TV programmes and also reminded me of the Terminator movies. It is a fast-paced, light listen. The authors gradually reveal significant details to keep the listener interested in the mystery aspects of the story. Narration shifts from chapter to chapter with numerous points of view. The chapters are very short, sometimes ending on a mini cliff-hanger. I'm not a big science fan and admit that I started to switch off during the tech stuff about wormholes, space time continuum etc. Although there isn't a 'proper' cliff-hanger ending, it leaves plenty of opportunity for a sequel.
Luke Daniels is a household name among audiobook enthusiasts, so many listeners will be familiar with his narration. I enjoyed his wide variety of different voices that made each character easily distinguishable. His pronunciation is very clear but I found the speed of the narration too slow, but I realize that's purely a personal preference and can easily be changed. There were no issues with the production quality.
Overall, this was mostly a fun, action-packed listen with middle-of-the-road characters and an average plot but nothing that really stood out for me or that I found particularly original. I think this will probably appeal more to a young audience looking for an exciting, easy-to-follow story with typical teenage characters. Content and language make this perfectly suitable for younger teenagers.
Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.
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