The Chase (The Chase Runner #1)
Mountain Brook Ink
Published June 15, 2021
About The Chase
Win the Chase. Be the hero. Or die trying.
The chaos and anarchy following the Great Collapse nearly brought the world to its knees until the unchanging Law brought order and peace. Generations later, the twelve alliances of the World Coalition come together once a year to allow their best and brightest young people to compete in the Chase. The prize? A chance to pass exactly one new law.
The son of two former Chase runners, Willis Thomson is the top trainee in the Western Alliance. With the expectations of the world and his heritage driving him, he leads his elite Red Team as they prepare for his moment to become a coveted Law-changer.
Perryn Davis, the new leader of the Blue Team, struggles to survive as she competes as one of the designated losers. She knows that losing means genetic recoding, a process that cannot go on indefinitely, and longs to age out of the program before it kills her.
When a mysterious new racer with knowledge of the outside shows up at their orbiting training center, the natural order of the Western Alliance trainees is upended. In a world where too much knowledge is dangerous, Willis and Perryn find themselves in a race to save their lives and uncover the hidden underbelly of the peaceful World Coalition.
THE CHASE had some elements that I really enjoyed and some things that I struggled with, so I’m a little bit torn in writing my review.
I liked the concept of the race. It reminded me a little bit of THE HUNGER GAMES, where the hopes for the future are pinned on a chosen few of the kids, and the world is broken up into allied areas under one central government. It also reminded me a little bit of DIVERGENT in the way the runners were split up into teams caught in a high stakes competition.
One of the things I struggled with was the way the characters related to each other. There were some relationships that seemed nuanced and layered– like Jez’s relationship with Willis. It was clear that she had some feelings for him that he didn’t recognize, and that it caused a lot of tension. I loved that and the way it was present but not overly highlighted.
I kind of didn’t understand Willis and Perryn’s relationship, though. It’s clear he’s attracted to her, but I wasn’t totally sure I understood why? It kind of read like he felt sorry for her or was attracted to her as a damsel in distress? Their relationship seemed kind of simplistic or shallow to me. I wasn’t sure I understood the connection enough to invest in hoping they eventually got together.
On the whole, I think the concept of the race is interesting. I wish the relationships between characters and some of the characters themselves had more complexity. Some of the issues the story raised were unexpected and interesting. I could see fans of Andrew Klavan reading and enjoying this one.
Recommended for Ages 12 up.
Major characters are white.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Lots of name-calling and insulting. No profanity.
Some obvious attraction between a boy and girl.
Situations of peril. One of the team leaders verbally and physically abuses other runners. The person in charge of the teams also verbally abuses runners. One runner threatens and hits another. Runners try to sabotage and even kill each other.
Runners who don’t perform well are forced to undergo a medical procedure.
A couple of runners are drugged against their will.
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