Published by: Nosy Crow, 3rd Feb 2022
Wow! Well I LOVE escape rooms and I love fast-paced, edgy middle-grade and this novel combines the two with bucket-loads of tension and intrigue from the get-go. I was pretty much hooked from the front cover, and this gripping read does NOT disappoint.
When Ami turns up at The Escape, she thinks she's there to play a game. But as she meets her teammates and the Host sets their challenge, they soon descend into a world of terror that feels NOTHING like gameplay. As they battle their way through a dust-filled library, a Mayan tomb and a deserted shopping mall that is prowling with extinct animals, Ami must hold her nerve. But what or who is behind The Escape and can she beat it?
This is writing and imagination at its best, but perhaps not for the faint-hearted reader. With high stakes and extreme peril, Christopher Edge moves his characters through a compelling range of dark and vivid challenges that will have readers on the edge of their seats. The novel may be on the short side, but it's jam-packed with dangerous adventure and mind-bending mind benders.
I loved the eclectic mix of rooms. The Mayan temple evoked real fear, the library was intriguing and eerily sinister and the shopping mall just terrifying. And yet, lying beneath the surface of every level is an important message that culminates in a powerful twist and punchy ending which hit me like a sledgehammer and yet left me with hope.
This is the first novel by Christopher Edge that I've read and it has definitely left me wanting more. Meticulously plotted and full of fantastic imagination, it also provides a dose of tough talking, which considering that the clock is ticking, may be what we all need.
A big thanks to Netgalley and Nosy Crow for allowing me to read a review copy. Escape Room is released tomorrow, 3rd February 2022.
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