Rabbits by Terry Miles
Rabbits by Terry Miles is a very highly recommended mystery involving players of a secret alternate reality game.
Rabbits is the unofficial accepted name of the mysterious underground
adventure game, but players are never supposed to talk about it. The
game can become an obsession to the players and rabbit holes, clues or
observations that seem connected, or obscure riddles, or coincidences,
or obvious alterations of a known thing, etc., are followed by the
players to the next clue. The game is rumored to have started in 1959.
Since then ten iterations of the game have occurred.
Now a new game, number eleven, is about to begin. K, a man who has
been trying to get into the game for years, is asked to meet with
Scarpio, who is rumored to be the winner of the sixth iteration. Scarpio
tells K that the game is broken and he needs K to fix it before the new
game starts. Soon after this Scarpio is declared missing and a few days
later the new game starts. The plot follows K and his friend Chloe, who
works at a retro arcade, as they manage to enter the game. The two
follow cryptic clues and patterns, solve puzzles, notice coincidences,
and try to stay away from an unknown danger as an increasing number of
players are dying or disappearing under mysterious circumstances.
The plot of this novel is going to pull you right in and immediately
grab your attention, especially if you are a long time gamer or someone
who enjoys playing cerebral games and following obscure clues. And there
are so many enigmas and conspiracies to follow. There are references to
all manner of literature, culture, and popular and gaming culture. Some
of the gaming references went over my head but I've been exposed to
enough to gamely follow along. Even the thought that noticing patterns
and coincidences in real life, made me briefly wonder "is the game
real?" as reading. The whole novel and plot is addictive and I
thoroughly enjoyed Rabbits.
K is developed as a character, but throughout the whole novel as
parts of his past are woven into the plot while he and Chloe play the
game. Other characters are introduced, but in the context of this novel
only the information we need or that K can uncover is disclosed.
Following along with K's thought processes as he follows clues is really
all the character development that is needed. Terry Miles is the
creator of a podcast called Rabbits too, which apparently will compliment the book, but isn't necessary to listened to in order to enjoy the book.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of the publisher.