A Meandering Mystery Box
Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Found some strange coincidences and patterns that seem to hint at something larger? If the answers to those questions are yes, chances are you’re probably part of Rabbits. Or maybe you’re not. Maybe it’s all just an elaborate hoax.
This sort of “what if” forms the backbone for Rabbits, Terry Miles’ cerebrally charged sci-fi thriller. Despite an interesting premise and an enticing mystery, Rabbits runs out of steam long before its bloated 418 page run is up. This is a novel that lives and dies by its mystery box and between a rather unsatisfying ending and one twist too many, this novel ultimately comes up short.
The premise centers on an underground game called Rabbits, which has apparently been running for years in secret, hidden in plain sight. Our protagonist is K (no gender is assigned to them through the book, although post-release interviews confirm K is female) and she’s been a long-time fan of the game.
K is desperate to get in on the action and one night she gets her wish. Approached by billionaire Alan Scarpio, K is warned that there’s something wrong with the game of Rabbits. People are going missing and others are dying, and it’s up to K to look into this before the 11th iteration of Rabbits starts up. The fate of the world is in K’s hands.
When Scarpio then goes missing, K is whisked up into a long-winded mystery of dead-ends, seemingly unrelated clues, confusion and everything from the Mandela Effect to rumblings about the multiverse.
Be prepared though, those expecting all the answers at the end will be left disappointed. In fact, ambiguous would be an understatement with this one. Rabbits is one of those books that sets up an intriguing mystery right from the off, strings you along, but then never quite satisfies that itch you needed scratching.
Despite that this is undoubtedly written well, and the character of K is well defined, even if the supporting players mostly feel like they play second fiddle to K. Although a little superficial, the red hardback cover to Rabbits immediately jumps off the shelf and personally, it’s much more aesthetically pleasing than the white cover.
I mentioned before about bloating and that can really be felt during the middle run of chapters in this book. As K is the person whose perspective the story is told from, she has a tendency to waffle on about a litany of different topics.
It’s not quite George R.R. Martin describing food across 3 pages but there are numerous tangents discussing historical events, videogame Easter eggs and more which really don’t need to be here. While they are interesting, the adverse effect is that they slow the story down and make this far more laborious to read than it should be.
Ultimately, Rabbits is a book of potential that’s never quite fulfilled. Despite some good dialogue and an absolutely enthralling hook, Terry Miles’ mystery box remains firmly shut and locked, failing to stand out among a plethora of other mystery stories.
Verdict - 5.5/10