The Rig ARC Review -- Prison Break YA Edition

The Rig | Joe Ducie
Released: October 6, 2015
Publisher: HMHkids
Genre(s): Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 320
Edition: Paperback ARC
Source: Publisher

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 special juvenile holding facility in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. No one can escape from the Rig. After hatching some escape plans—and making the first real friends of his life—Drake quickly realizes 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?

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.



If Juvenile Prisons Were Actually This Cool
What do you call those moments when you have nothing bad to say about a book? 
Oh yeah perfection.


So this is how it feels to be pleasantly surprised? When I first picked up The Rig, I honestly had no clue what to expect. I used to watch Prison Break all the time, (I thought Wentworth Miller was kinda cute) and the synopsis just screamed this show. So I dived in expecting to be thoroughly entertained, and boy did Joe Ducie deliver! Not only did he give me a fast paced plot, (something I desperately needed btw), but he was able to cook up some hilariously witty characters, and mix them with a smoking hot concept that kept me intrigued from beginning to end. Tika is one happy camper folks.

What To Expect

Fangirl Breakdown

Everything Under The Sun

Hold on to your wigs ladies and gents because you're in for a special treat! Pacing that's faster than you run when yo mama says breakfast is ready. Awesome characters that I either wanted to laugh, chill with, or kick their asses. A high tech prison that made me wish it was my vacation home, (okay maybe not but you get what I'm saying) and just a bunch of FUN ISH. There wasn't anything I was missing!

Fangirl Breakdown

15 year old Will Drake had such an interesting perspective to read from. He's been in and out of juvenile facilities for years, but definitely not for good behavior or because he served a complete sentence, nope our boy is a true escape artist. Successfully escaping EVERY maximum security facility he's been locked down in, I was curious to see how he'd take down the challenge of The Rig, an old oil platform converted into a rehabilitation center for teens . . . that just so happens to be built in the center of the Arctic Ocean. The situation didn't look too promising for him, but Drake is certainly more clever than he let's on.

What worked so well for me, was the fact that the story was just so . . . thrilling. From the moment Drake and other inmates arrived to the new facility, you can feel his desperation to escape. I enjoyed how level-headed and methodical he was, scoping out his surroundings, using his wit to pull information from others, his brain to sort out routes. I was literally on edge with anticipation, not only wondering if he could actually pull it off, but rooting for him to do so.

For someone that enjoys watching documentaries about prison life, (shut up, don't judge me) I knew for sure the setting of this novel would be a huge hit for me. Of course it operates like most juvenile facilities, but what sets it apart, is that The Rig wasn't exactly what it appeared to be. Upon arriving, each inmate received an electronic device that tracks your every movement. It gives a blueprint of where you are in the facility, tells you when your next tasks starts/ends, (schooling, meals, your job) and shows you how much money you owe the system, or have made from whatever job you've been assigned. Hello Apple Watch in 10 years.

I've been secretly whittling a canoe out of soap, elbow grease, unicorn tears, and a teaspoon of shenanigans. Almost ready to set sail, if only I could get this damn tracker off.

Ducie pulled out all stops to make sure he kept up the momentum of the plot and the reader's attention. From the secondary characters that had their own individual stories, the bullies that made life on the rig a living hell, the electronic lacrosse sport of Rig ball which is by far one of the best fictional sports I've ever read about, all the way to the mystery of Crystal -X and what the warden of The Rig was doing with it, he left no room for us not to be entertained. 

The Rig consisted of so many enjoyable elements that it was absolutely impossible to put down. The writing was quite simple but fluid, pairing well with the fast pacing of the plot. The characters were sharp tongued, clever, and down right comical. The action scenes kept everything alive and climatic, creating drama where it was most needed, and seriously, besides the ending wrapping up too quickly for my tastes, there's nothing about this book that I wouldn't praise. Perfect for readers of all ages and lovers of genres other than sci-fi, The Rig is a debut that's sure to be loved by most.

Oh, and about if Drake escaped or not . . .
You'll just have to pick it up to find out!


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