Rabbits – Terry Miles

Rabbits is a new novel based on the podcast Rabbits – set in the same universe, this is a new story. Centred around K and the mysterious game called Rabbits, I thought this had an interesting concept, but ultimately I felt very disappointed.

Many thanks to Black Crow PR and Pan Macmillan for sending me an ARC, all opinions are my own as always.

RELEASE DATE: 10/06/2021

STAR RATING: 2/5 ✶

SUMMARY: What happens in the game, stays in the game…

Rabbits is a secret, dangerous and sometimes fatal underground game. The rewards for winning are unclear, but there are rumours of money, CIA recruitment or even immortality. Or it might unlock the universe’s greatest secrets. But everyone knows that the deeper you get, the more deadly the game becomes – and the body count is rising. Since the game first started, ten iterations have taken place… and the eleventh round is about to begin.

K can’t get enough of the game and has been trying to find a way in for years. Then Alan Scarpio, reclusive billionaire and alleged Rabbits winner, shows up out of nowhere. And he charges K with a desperate mission. Something has gone badly wrong with the game and K needs to fix it – before Eleven starts – or the world will pay the price.

Five days later, Scarpio is declared missing.

Two weeks after that Eleven begins, so K blows the deadline.

And suddenly, the fate of the entire universe is at stake. (from Pan Macmillan)

OPINIONS: I was very intrigued by the concept of Rabbits – it’s not unique, reminding the reader of books like The God Game or Ready Player One, but one thing these books tend to have in common is that they are fun. I expected Rabbits to be similar – fast paced escapism with a fun message. And it does start out like that. Except that all the plot strands that are introduced don’t really fit together to make a coherent puzzle, and I ended the book feeling very confused. It has the feel of a series of curve balls, without them stringing the story and world together properly.

Added to that, the characters felt incredibly superficial. At the end of the book I felt like I didn’t really know anything about K or Chloe, never mind any of the more minor characters. I feel like the audiodrama podcast version of Rabbits probably worked better – I can see parts of this translating really well to that format. But as a novel, the writing isn’t strong enough in my opinion. Through relying on plot twists and curve balls to try and keep readers compelled, the overarching plot and worldbuilding suffers, and I felt like twists did not make sense in the story as a whole. So I was left fairly disappointed in the end – though it may well be that my experience is not your experience.

If you’re interested in Rabbits, you can find it on Goodreads here, or order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).

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