Narrator: Luke Daniels
Published by Macmillan Audio on 18 January 2017
Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Suspense
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From acclaimed thriller-suspense novelists Heather Graham and Jon Land comes a story of action, mystery, and the endurance of young love in The Rising.
Twenty-four hours. That's all it takes for the lives of two young people to be changed forever.
Alex Chin has the world on a plate. A football hero and homecoming king with plenty of scholarship offers, his future looks bright. His tutor, Samantha Dixon, is preparing to graduate high school at the top of her class. She plans to turn her NASA internship into a career. When a football accident lands Alex in the hospital, his world is turned upside down. His doctor is murdered. Then, his parents. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes, and now it's after him.
Alex flees. He tells Samantha not to follow, but she became involved the moment she walked through his door and found Mr. and Mrs. Chin as they lay dying in their home. She cannot abandon the young man she loves. The two race desperately to stay ahead of Alex's attackers long enough to figure out why they are hunting him in the first place. The answer lies with a secret buried deep in his past, a secret his parents died to protect. Alex always knew he was adopted, but he never knew the real reason his birth parents abandoned him. He never knew where he truly came from. Until now.
©2016 Heather Graham and Jon Land (P)2016 Macmillan Audio
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.
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