The novel’s first sentence suggests the protag may have killed her cat, which makes Melissa Miller immediately difficult to love. Plus she’s a self-injurer who could fit neatly into a certain subculture that seems to celebrate misery instead of fighting it. But enough of my prejudices…
Missy has redeeming features, mainly in that she’s the school soccer team’s keeper. Her experience protecting the net and woodwork assists her when she undertakes her biggest challenge – being War, the Red Rider of the Apocalypse. Only the apocalypse hasn’t come yet. But what does it means to be War? What must Missy do to save others, and to save herself?
The rage is evident. The reasons for it may seem clear, but one question remains unanswered: why did Missy start cutting? It seems her real problems began with Adam and escalated from there, but she was cutting even before she originally hooked up with him, before Adam was the first to discover her scars. Did Missy start self-injuring before or after Graygirl’s demise?
I don’t know. But Rage does exactly what it should: provokes reactions in readers. A lot of fiction leaves me feeling “meh”, not connecting with the characters, but this series is different. Rage is a striking story that cuts to the bone and digs deeper. Prepare to be angry and upset, and rush to hug your cat. And never forget to appreciate those awesome folk wearing the gloves on the pitch – they just might be the people who stave off the apocalypse.