Whiplash

Book 1 - A Rust Chronicles Novel

Young Adult - Fantasy - Urban
322 Pages
Reviewed on 11/23/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

Whiplash: Book 1 - A Rust Chronicles Novel, by Morgan Quaid, is an exciting YA fantasy that won't let you go till the last page. This author brings an energetic, suspenseful story about a resourceful and sharp young character named Jack Flint. Sleep is supposed to be a time of rest; it's anything but in the imaginative and engrossing universe Quaid has created. Jack and other teenagers are captured and taken to an underground lair, where they're made to battle a deadly enemy that lives in dreams.

Quaid has his pulse on action drama and executes his ideas with verve and skill. At times it feels as if you're watching an action movie; at other times it feels like you're reading a graphic novel. Even though this story pretty much stands on its own, it serves to introduce characters and key points found in The Rust Chronicles, Volume 1. This book has everything you want in a sci-fi adventure: standout characters, an irresistible plot, and an energetic feel that carries it through to the end. The first-person POV works wonderfully here as it really takes you inside the minds and situations of the characters. The details are rich, the descriptions vivid, and phrases like "psychotic death clown" abound. This is where daytime reality versus nighttime dreams, and it's the author's skill at worldbuilding that makes everything so convincing.

This isn't exactly a book for younger readers, due to adult violence and sexual situations, but YA readers should find it satisfying. You know you're in trouble when your world is rocked by a giant thug, a flaming-haired dwarf, and a Taser showing up at your door to take you away. I like that the fate of the world rests on the shoulders of teens who can lucid dream. This author has crafted a mad world of demigods and dreams that you want to read more about. Just a moment to mention how appealing Jack is as the main character. He's bold and funny and is a strong enough character to hold everything together. If you like stories embedded with mysteries, fantasy characters, and a plot that begs to be filmed, you have to dive into Whiplash by Morgan Quaid.

K.C. Finn

Whiplash is a work of fiction in the urban fantasy subgenre and serves as the first book in the Rust Chronicles series. It is aimed at young adult readers and was penned by author Morgan Quaid. The book follows a young boy named Jack Flint who has been stolen away from his home in order to fight a dangerous foe in a deadly dream world. Living between battles with other abducted warriors, Jack must balance his own initial need to escape back to his family against the very real threat that the otherworldly monsters pose to the entire earth.

This book has all of the excellent lore and world-building that one would expect of a seasoned speculative fiction writer such as Morgan Quaid, with a robust and consistent world existing alongside ours, and slowly unfolding as Jack is pulled deeper and deeper into the nightmarish world in which he and his fellow teens must fight for survival. Jack is an excellent three-dimensional character who makes getting hooked into the world of Whiplash an easy and enticing proposition. The fact that Jack’s involvement is the result of an abduction adds some fascinating moral questions that young adult readers will enjoy considering: do the ends justify the means? Can the lesser of two evils be considered good? There’s a lot of depth to the narrative here with the author never shying away from complex or difficult storytelling without ever making the book inaccessible to readers. The first in a proposed series, I’m excited to read future installments of this saga.

Pikasho Deka

Whiplash: A Rust Chronicles Novel is a young adult urban fantasy novel written by Morgan Quaid. Eighteen-year-old Jack Flint's life turns upside down when a mountain of a man and a ginger dwarf kidnap him in the middle of the night and imprison him in a solitary place called the Bunker. Soon, Jack is greeted by an old dwarf named Giant, who maneuvers Jack into transporting his consciousness to an alternate dream reality through lucid dreaming. As Jack learns to navigate the world of Rust, he comes to know a rebel group led by a mysterious man named Kane and his underling Shadowfang. They enlighten him to the threat posed by the Red Queen. Can Jack and his friends find a way to stop her?

A fast-paced urban fantasy filled with action, intrigue, and suspense, Whiplash: A Rust Chronicles Novel is an absolute blast to read. Author Morgan Quaid weaves an intricate plot full of twists and turns set in a unique world that keeps your eyes glued to the pages. At times, Whiplash feels like a hybrid between the Hollywood blockbusters Inception, The Matrix, and The Maze Runner, which gives birth to something uniquely authentic and creative. The characters are compelling, with hidden motives and agency that add layers to their outward personalities. Jack (Aster) is a likable protagonist who is easy to root for. As the plot moves forward, you find yourself increasingly hooked by the unexpected reveals. I will recommend this book to anyone who loves to read about unique worlds.