Recoil (Recoil Trilogy Book 1)

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May 14, 2016
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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). BONUS CONTENT! Chapter one of Refuse (book 2 in the Recoil series) included in this version!

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Recoil by Joanne Macgregor is the first book of a series that plans to cash in on the recent dystopian trend in young adult literature. However, rather than a war changing society as we know it, in this novel, it is a plague that does the damage. The disease element of the story reminds me somewhat of Legend by Marie Lu and Reached by Allie Condie. Yet unlike these two books, the first half of Recoil does not have the mystery, intrigue, and danger that makes Lu’s and Condie’s novels so exciting.

Honestly, the first fourteen chapters of Recoil, though enjoyable, left me wanting more. The other books in this genre are really well written and have become quite popular for a reason. Unfortunately, at first, I did not feel as though Recoil could stand up next to them in originality or entertainment. However, my opinion quickly changed as I approached the second half of the book. All of a sudden the pace picks up, the stakes are higher, and Jinxy, the protagonist, has to make serious decisions in the matter of seconds.

Real action begins to happen as the main character realizes not everything is as it seems, the classic pivotal moment of every dystopian. Though it is obvious from the beginning that Jinxy and her fellow black squad are being trained to shoot more than infected rats, there are some very surprising moments that I did not see coming. It is crucial for books in this genre to have unpredictable twists and turns, and Macgregor does a good job with this in the second half of the book. In fact, there are a number of interesting payoffs from seeds planted earlier in the story, in addition to a cliffhanger à la Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

I honestly cannot wait to read Refuse, the second book in this series. I generally believe now that Macgregor has finished the set up and the backstory, it will continue to only get better and better. If the ending of Recoil is any indication, we are in for more action, betrayal, and heartbreak. I am incredibly curious to see where Macgregor goes with this story. How will Jinxy get out of her current circumstances? Will Quinn ever forgive her? What really happens to the ‘terrs’ and ‘M&M’s’? I suppose the only way to find out is to continue reading and that is exactly what I intend to do.
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