Recoil by Joanne Macgregor

Official blurb:
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.

Joanne Macgregor's YA thriller, Recoil

Out today – grab a copy while it’s hot!

Review by Katy Haye:

Fellow Piranha, Pia Fenton, read and loved Joanne’s Scarred, and I’m really glad she flagged this one to me. I love a fast-paced dystopian and this was deft and convincing.

Recoil created a good, plausible world set in the near-future, and the backstory was slipped in with assured ease.

The characters were fabulous. I loved Jinx. She was special in a very ordinary, accessible way. At home with mum and brother Robin she was a typical teenager with a touch of the worry-wort,but get her in her natural environment and she was magnificent! The other characters were equally well put-together. Bruce, in particular, stood out as a genuine irritant, and the “pirate” attraction between Jinx and Quinn was well-handled.

I wasn’t entirely convinced by the first interaction with Quinn and Jinx and the joke he played on her. I thought Jinx should have caught on quicker (and why was all that disgusting stuff available, anyway?!). Overall, if I have a niggle it’s that Jinx was a bit naive. She made me a little impatient – but then that’s easy to say when I’m the reader and I can pick up on all the clues the writer’s scattered through the book. Poor Jinx didn’t really have the leisure to do that.

There was a good sense of something bigger going on in the background, which built throughout Recoil. The twist with her father was excellent, and Quinn’s reveal was very clever. There’s often a risk of mwa-ha-ha villains in dystopian fiction, but this was subtle and intelligent.

This is the first of a trilogy. It has a great finale, and it works as a single book, but Jinx ends in a big, fat mess. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

piranha stars turquoise 4

This one is an ideal read if you’re a fan of Kim Curran (Shift, Control, Delete trilogy, and Glaze).

Katy Haye writes fast-paced fantasy for YA readers. Check out The Last Gatekeeper and The Last Dreamseer.

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