There is this game. The rules are cryptic. The stakes deadly. But the rewards? Legendary. And kinda like Fight Club, you don’t talk about this game. In fact, this game is so elusive and secretive that even the reader doesn’t understand the entirety of game until the waning pages of Terry Miles’ book.
Yeah, this might not be Rabbits highest endorsement.
Title: Rabbits (2021) Author: Terry Miles Publisher: Del Rey Book jacket: Rabbits is a mysterious alternate reality game so vast it uses the entire world as its canvas. And suddenly, the fate of the entire universe is at stake. Joe says: Late century pop culture references aside, Rabbits becomes too dense with its own mythology to be anything more than ridiculous.
The premise of the novel is a fun one. Rabbits is a mysterious game where players seek hidden clues in the world all around us in order to progress to the next level. Secrets like a QR code hidden in a 16th century painting. Or a super 8 movie stored in a locker for 15 years whose contents shows yesterday’s news. Rabbits, the book, is a distant cousin to the likes of Ready Player One and The DaVinci Code where the hunt is on to find meaning in the unexplainable. Like Richard Linkletter movies. Rabbits gamesman, K, and his girl-who-is-a-friend Chloe, race around Seattle, where all these clues conveniently appear, in order to win the game. And oh yeah, maybe even save the world. Right.
Miles writes a fast paced pseudo-thriller with believable, enjoyable characters. Yet he too gets tripped up in the tangled mythology of his game. In Ready Player One, the treasure hunt fills the endless virtual world of the Oasis with clues hidden behind Gen X pop-culture references. Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code is a race to find the Holy Grail through a specific Templar trail. Both of these stories keep the quest limited within a specific realm in order to understand the rules and maximize that final treasure. Late century pop culture references aside (although anytime Scanners gets a shout out is totally worthy, right?). Rabbits is too broad in scope to be properly defined. The book opens with what is supposed to be an inside look at the game. Even that ends up being nothing more than a nostalgic look at Robotron 2084.
Rabbits is a fun video game of a book. But it is only worth that single quarter. And there are other alluring games in the arcade.
The mythology of Rabbits becomes its own McGuffin. For once the premise is completely understood the play itself could be seen as insanely ridiculous.
Kinda like Scientology.
Playful thanks to the team at Del Rey / Random House for the advanced copy.