SPOILER ALERT! If you have not read the first two books in the series you’ll want to stop reading this post right now and go read them!
Miki Jones – The death of her mother, her father’s alcoholism, and the growing rift with her lifelong best friend have sent Miki’s life into a tailspin so she tries to control what she can—she runs five days a week at the crack of dawn, vacuums the carpet in organized sections, irons the bedsheets, and wipes the kitchen counter even when it isn’t dirty. Then she’s pulled into a game she can’t control, one where she must hunt aliens or be hunted, and if she dies in the game, she dies for real.
Jackson Tate – Jackson’s been in the game for five years, conscripted as a child and locked into a life and death battle. He lost his sister to the Drau and he has no problem taking out the enemy every time. He claims he’s an every-man-for-himself kind of guy, but his actions don’t match his words because he’s always trying to keep others safe. His attitude is a wall he’s built around himself to try and stave off the pain if his friends and teammates die.
Luka Vujic – Luka is Miki’s childhood friend, a boy she lost touch with over the years. They reconnect in the game and Luka has her back.
Carly Conner – Carly has been Miki’s best friend all her life but when Miki has to keep the game secret in order to keep Carly safe, the half truths and evasions start to widen the gap between them.
Tyrone Walker – Tyrone is Miki’s teammate, a boy who enjoys the game and has fun with it, taking note of every aspect including missions, scores, and weapons in the hopes of some day creating a video game from the knowledge and selling it for millions. But his attitude changes when tragedy strikes.
Top 5 Moments from RUSH
1) Miki Jones saves a little girl from being run down in the road, only to get slammed by the speeding truck herself. She wakes up in the lobby—a grassy clearing surrounded by trees—and learns she’s been pulled into a game where she must hunt aliens or be hunted.
“You point this and you fire at anything that comes at you.”
“Anything?” I ask. “Bees? Wasps? Lost puppies?”
His lips thin, confirming what I already suspected. “You have no sense of humor,” I point out.
He ignores my observation. “Anything non-terrestrial.”
“Non-terrestrial? As in … extraterrestrial?”
He gives a short nod.
“Of course. I died today, and now I’m going to fight aliens with a light saber. Maybe after that we can look for mermaids. Or unicorns.”
“No,” he says. “Just aliens.”
Was that the barest hint of humor in his tone?
2) On her first encounter with the Drau, Miki is forced to kill or be killed.
The Drau reaches down, glowing fingers curled and clawlike, smooth and reflective as glass. My heart slams against my ribs.
Then the black hole spurting from the muzzle of my weapon sucks in the alien’s hips… legs folding up alongside its torso…shoulders…arms. Gone. Its light is gone. Extinguished.
I did that. I killed it.
Bile burns the back of my throat.
I have no chance to puke. Or to celebrate. Another bright form comes at me.
3) Miki discovers that if you die in the game, you die for real, and though she tries to call Luka for support, it’s Jackson who shows up at her house.
Richelle is dead. She’s not coming back.
I thought it was a game. Luka called it that.
But Jackson said it was no game. He said it was real, that what we did determined our survival. I thought he was crazy. I wanted to think he was crazy…
“Goodbye, Richelle,” I whisper.
I feel like a robot as I lock the front door, then run down the driveway. My music. I forgot it. I spin toward the house but can’t face going back inside. I spin back toward the road and slam into something hard. Hands close on my upper arms, steadying me. My head jerks back, I look up a good six inches, and my breath locks in my chest.
“Hey,” Jackson says.
4) After Miki and Jackson find the clones in the secret lab in the underground labyrinth of caves, Miki discovers why Jackson always wears dark glasses, even at night.
I desperately want to see his eyes, to know what emotions are mirrored there, to connect with him in our common humanity. But all I see is myself, pale and shaken, reflected in the lenses of his sunglasses. And suddenly it’s all too much.
Without a word, I reach up and rip the shades off. My gaze locks on his.
He stares back at me, his inhuman gray eyes beautiful and deadly and mercury bright.
5) When Jackson and Miki face the Committee and Jackson kisses her.
He kisses me like I am water and he is parched. Like I am air and he is drowning. He kisses me like he is dying and I am his lifeline. He is gentle and rough, taking and giving. In that moment, his kiss is all I know, all I ever want to know.
6) Bonus moment: When Jackson is dying after the attack in Detroit, and he doesn’t want to let Miki risk her life to try and save him. But Miki isn’t the type of girl to let anyone make decisions for her.
His eyes open, and they’re clear, free of pain, free of fear. That scares me most of all. He’s leaving me. He’s accepted that.
And he won’t risk killing me like he killed Lizzie. He won’t take what he needs to stay alive till we get pulled.
Well, if he won’t take, maybe I can give. It isn’t stealing energy if I offer it for free.
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Top 5 Moments from PUSH
1) When Miki has to lead her team and she gets separated from them after they leave the elevator.
Two options: right or left. Only one will take me back to Luka, Tyrone, Kendra, and Lien. It should be an easy choice: pick the one that runs in the direction of the green triangles on my con. But it isn’t that easy because all the corridors here branch and angle, so even if I run left now, I might end up running right in a few turns.
I’m alone. And I’m lost.
I’m no fricking leader. I don’t even have eyes on my team.
“Pull it together, Miki,” I mutter.
A crash echoes from behind me, the slam and rebound of the first door against the wall. They’re through. They’ll find me.
Straight into a Drau.
2) When Miki climbs the tree in Jackson’s backyard and finally sees him again, only to get the impression that he doesn’t want her there.
“What are you doing here?” he asks, sounding anything but welcoming.
“Sitting in a tree.” My chin kicks up a notch. “I knocked and rang the bell. No one answered.”
“So you climbed a tree?”
3) When Miki tells Jackson that she needs to be her own person and not just his shadow.
“Because if I go with you, it will be so easy to stop trying, to just float along in your wake, letting you make the plans and decisions, letting you choose where we go and who we see. I need to be me. Miki Jones. Not just Jackson Tate’s girl.”
He’s quiet for so long that I think I’ve seriously offended him. Then he grins and asks, “So…what you’re saying is that you want people to call us Mikison instead of Jamiki?”
4) When the Drau push through the boundaries and step out of the game into Miki’s real world.
This is my school, and they are here.
In my world. My real world.
The boundaries have failed.
The Drau have pushed through.
5) When Carly crosses the boundaries into the game and is injured by the Drau, and Jackson has to choose between helping Miki save Carly or chasing after the girl who looks like his dead sister. Jackson chooses Miki.
I have a split-second thought that he didn’t go after the girl, the green-eyed girl. The girl who looks like Lizzie.
He came to me.
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