Book Review: The Rift Uprising

The Rift Uprising 
Published By: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Page Count: 368
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Science Fiction

Ryn Whittaker, young and enhanced both physically and mentally, deals with whatever the Rift in the multiverse sends her way. Sometimes it’s sentient lizards, sometimes it’s the warlike Karekin, and sometimes it’s just the cute boy from the world next door. But something isn’t right. What is happening to these Rift refugees after they arrive? Why do we have to humanize them at all costs? And why aren’t the soldiers on the front lines allowed to have the comfort of serious attachments? 

I will tell you upfront that I basically swallowed The Rift Uprising whole. Foster’s writing puts the reader in a head lock and does. Not. Let. Go. The only reason I didn’t finish it in a single sitting is because I have kids who want help with homework, clean underwear and, you know, food and stuff. Responsibility, yay. 

I like how The Rift Uprising, despite essentially being about child soldiers (or maybe because of it?), really focuses on how the characters discover who they are as people. Can they be more than what ARC wants them to be? Is there more to who we are than who our families are, where we go to school, and how we are trained? These are very YA questions, and the author does not give pat answers. 

One of my favorite things about The Rift Uprising is that I Amy Foster was in completely in my head the whole time. When I read that average teens were being accepted into a school so prestigious that parents would relocate their families for them to attend, I thought “Over the top!” Then Foster would say through one of the characters how crazy that seemed and that there must be something else going on. And, boy is there. It happened at least two more times that I won’t specify because of spoilers, but trust me when I say this author knows what she’s doing. Bahahaha! It’s awesomely diabolical. 

Since Ryn goes to the ARC “school,” here’s the equation for your fun, fall read: 

 The Rift Uprising = Ender’s Game x The Hunger Games. 

Do the math. You won’t be disappointed. 

 Note: The Rift Uprising has a fair amount of strong language.

Normal seventeen-year-old girls go to high school, binge watch TV shows all weekend, and flirt with everyone on the face of the Earth. But Ryn Whitaker is trying to save it.

Ryn is a Citadel. A soldier. A liar. Ryn and her fellow Citadels were specially chosen and trained to guard a Rift—one of fourteen unpredictable tears in the fabric of the universe that serve as doorways to alternate Earths. Unbeknownst to her family, Ryn leaves for school each day and then reports for duty as an elite, cybernetically-altered soldier who can run faster, jump farther, and fight better than a Navy SEAL—which comes in handy when she’s not sure if axe-wielding Vikings or any number of other scared and often dangerous beings come through the Rift. A fine-tuned weapon, Ryn is a picture-perfect Citadel.

But that’s all about to change.

When a young man named Ezra is pulled through the Rift, Ryn finds herself immediately drawn to him, despite her training. What starts as a physical attraction quickly grows deeper, and Ezra’s curiosity throws Ryn off balance when he starts questioning the Rifts, the mysterious organization that oversees them, and the Citadels themselves—questions that lead Ryn to wonder if the lies she’s been telling her family are just the surface of a much bigger lie told to her. As Ryn and Ezra desperately try to get to that truth, they discover that each revelation blurs the line between the villains and the heroes even more.