Recoil – Joanne Macgregor (@JoanneMacg)

Okay wow, so I wasn’t expecting to be hooked on Recoil! Joanne Macgregor, you’ve made a convert of this girl!

As I explained in my tweets and Instagram posts, the virtual reality, dystopian, gaming-esque genre isn’t really my thing (although I enjoyed me a good novel of this nature in high school), I decided to broaden my reading horizons and dug in! The first few chapters took a little getting into but once I’d hit about Chapter 5, there was no stopping.

The US has been hit by unusual terrorist attacks, by spreading a deadly virus amongst citizens. This results in extreme safety measures, with the population encouraged to stay indoors and stay decontaminated and sterile.

Enter Jinx, a sixteen-year-old gamer who finally takes down Jakhil on an online game called … The Game. Jinx took to the game to while away time after the terrorist attacks hit. As the only sniper who has managed to take Jakhil down, she’s contacted by the creators of The Game to have a chance at being part of a simulation game at PlayState’s headquarters.

I’ll let the book’s blub take over from here:

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.

The deeper I got into the book, the more I heard whisperings of Orwell’s 1984. Governments and politics are always explosive topics, no matter where you are in the world and Recoil does a brilliant job of questioning just how much our governments have our ‘best interests’ at heart.

I also found Recoil to be a story about sticking to your guns. Sticking to your morals and values no matter how difficult it may seem because when all’s said and done, it’s the only thing we have.

Macgregor’s writing is brilliant! Fast-paced when the heat is turned up, and lovely and lilting when it needs to be. I heard every bead of sweat hit the ground, I hear every shot fired, I heard every terrified heartbeat. And Jinx … Jinx is just my kinda girl! She may seem sweet on the outside at first glance but she’s actually a tough cookie and she defies what audiences may think a sniper should look and act like. Go Jinx!

I look forward to Book Two entitled Refuse (I’m off to go read Chapter One which is exclusively tucked into the final pages of Book One!). I want to know what happens to Jinx after the crazy ending in Book 1, I want to know what happens to Connor and Quinn and to reach into the pages of Kindle to slap Leya to next Tuesday!


-Babongile Z

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