I picked this one up on a birthday book buying spree because I absolutely love escape rooms and I’ve been on a huge middle-grade horror and thriller kick lately. I love the cover, it’s very eye-catching and beautiful. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a huge fan of this book, but it hasn’t dented my love for the genre and I do want to try more from Christopher Edge.
About the book:
When twelve-year-old Ami arrives at The Escape, she thinks it’s just a game – the ultimate escape room with puzzles and challenges to beat before time runs out. Meeting her teammates, Adjoa, Ibrahim, Oscar and Min, Ami learns from the Host that they have been chosen to save the world and they must work together to find the Answer. But as he locks them inside the first room, they quickly realise this is no ordinary game.
From a cavernous library of dust to an ancient Mayan tomb, a deserted shopping mall stalked by extinct animals to the command module of a spaceship heading to Mars, the perils of The Escape seem endless. Can Ami and her friends find the Answer before it’s too late?
What did I think?
This… was a weird one. I read it all in one sitting today, and ended up writing a review because I needed to process my thoughts. Because what the f did I just read. This was actually sitting at a solid 3 or 4 stars the whole way through, but the ending dropped it for me significantly.
I’m a little uncertain on the expected reading age for this book. It has a very large font and the characters and writing seems to be a middle-grade book, but this was very scary for a children’s book. I’m talking characters straight up dying. Hardcore. It felt more YA in those moments. I liked the writing itself, it was an easy read and I found the puzzles and mysteries very engaging. I really wanted to know what was going to happen next and I liked the character cast. I did find Oscar kind of annoying – he had a character archetype and absolutely stuck to it – but overall they were a sweet group that had varied and interesting strengths.
However. However. The ending. I… what? Our main character we’ve been following is an AI, and the whole escape room was aimed by her ‘father’ so she could fix climate change. Which, doesn’t make any sense in the context of the escape room puzzles, and also it went from being scary and interesting to kind of preachy. The ending was very vague and I ended up going from scared to flat out confused by the entire concept. Ultimately it wasn’t a bad book but the ending let me down quite a lot, leaving me disappointed and mostly just confused. Still, the writing was intriguing enough that I would pick up other books by this author to see if they were more interesting to me.
Release Date: 3rd February 2022