Disclaimer: I received an eArc from NetGalley, as well as a physical ARC from the publisher at PHXCC.
First line: A stabbing pain jolts me awake.
I’ve been a fan of Scott Sigler’s YA work for a while. The Galactic Football League is one of my favorite series, and I eagerly collect them all as they’re dribbled out. Seeing that Scott was doing a YA series that combined SF tropes with Horror ones, I was immediately intrigued and pre-ordered immediately.
I’m glad I did. The book is an intense ride with a lot of twists and reveals. Some of them are standard fare, but they act as red herrings for other reveals, and all of them are done masterfully. Scott manages to adeptly manipulate YA tropes in a way that allows him to drag the rug out from under us down the line.
One of my main criticisms of the work, a minor one, is that it is obviously the first book in a series. You can tell that there are building blocks being laid down for something much grander down the line.
Final verdict: Thoroughly enjoyed and will be pre-ordering the second book in the series.
SF YA series: The Insignia series by S.J. Kincaid, Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown, Galactic Football League series by Scott Sigler