Rabbits by Terry Miles is an interesting, but confusing, Sci-Fi. K plays a game called Rabbits, and things are starting to go very wrong.

All quotes are from an advanced reader copy and may or may not reflect the published copy.

From Goodreads:

Conspiracies abound in this surreal and yet all-too-real technothriller in which a deadly underground alternate reality game might just be altering reality itself, set in the same world as the popular Rabbits podcast.

It’s an average workday. You’ve been wrapped up in a task, and you check the clock when you come up for air–4:44 pm. You go to check your email, and 44 unread messages have built up. With a shock, you realize it is April 4th–4/4. And when you get in your car to drive home, your odometer reads 44,444.

Coincidence? Or have you just seen the edge of a rabbit hole?

Rabbits is a mysterious alternate reality game so vast it uses our global reality as its canvas. Since the game first started in 1959, ten iterations have appeared and nine winners have been declared. Their identities are unknown. So is their reward, which is whispered to be NSA or CIA recruitment, vast wealth, immortality, or perhaps even the key to unlocking the secrets of the universe itself. But the deeper you get, the more deadly the game becomes.
Players have died in the past–and the body count is rising.

And now the eleventh round is about to begin. Enter K–a Rabbits obsessive who has been trying to find a way into the game for years. That path opens when K is approached by billionaire Alan Scarpio, the alleged winner of the sixth iteration. Scarpio says that something has gone wrong with the game and that K needs to fix it before Eleven starts or the whole world will pay the price.

Five days later, Scarpio is declared missing. Two weeks after that, K blows the deadline and Eleven begins. And suddenly, the fate of the entire universe is at stake.

“Win the game, save the world.”

It was stated that you do not have to listen to the podcast Rabbits to read this book. As such, I went in blind. As we follow K and the world of Rabbits, I questioned this decision. There were moments where everything seemed as if it was making sense. Promptly after I would feel that way, it would all stop making sense again. This book did a lot of tell don’t show, and felt like reading a nonstop conversation instead of a laid-out book. The pacing was inconsistent. Things would start to rev up in the plot, and I would be excited to keep reading. However, the plot would then fall flat again. This was disappointing and almost led to a 90% in DNF.

“Whatever’s really going on, it’s become clear that the keepers of the secrets of the game are highly dangerous and extremely complicated. And if they actually do exist, none of them are talking.”

The story follows a consistent formula of, K and Chloe find a clue, they then look for the next clue. K loses reality or time or both, and somehow finds said next clue. Chloe asks K if he is ok. Rinse and repeat for 400+ pages and you have the book. The concept seemed interesting, even when it got more into the metaphysical sciences. But we got lots of red herrings and a quick wrap-up after being dragged along for several pages. Another reviewer said that if the book was 200 pages more or less, it wouldn’t have made any difference. I have to agree with this.

“Watching Emily Connors do math was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen in my life.”

There is no real character development to speak of here. K and Chloe feel flat personality-wise. Chloe even feels like an afterthought to give K a sounding board and a connection. Their relationship annoyed me, and it never seemed to benefit the plot. This story genuinely had the means to be amazing. The execution, however, stifled all of those chances.

“You play and pray you never tell.”

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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