Last Updated on December 28, 2022 by ThoughtsStained
The Rig by Roger Levy was one of the first books I ever received as an ARC. I hadn’t heard of it before Titan was kind enough to ask if I’d like to review a copy, but it definitely intrigued me. The cover especially, with it’s gorgeous colors and I’d argue almost minimalist design. Then, of course, life got in the way and weeks turned into months with this book sitting on my shelves, unread. Even my boyfriend would comment, saying, When are you going to read The Rig? It looks interesting.
Little did I know that, by the time I finally did get around to reading this, I’d spent so much more time thinking while reading this book than I did thinking about wanting to read it.
Which I thought about. A lot.
An ARC copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Publisher: Titan Books | Release Date: May 2018 | Pages: 618
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Sci-Fi | Format: Paperback | Source: ARC
On a desert planet, two boys meet, sparking a friendship that will change human society forever. On the windswept world of Bleak, a string of murders lead a writer to a story with unbelievable ramifications. One man survives the vicious attacks, but is left with a morbid fascination with death; the perfect candidate for the perilous job of working on a rig.
Welcome to the System. Here the concept of a god has been abandoned, and a new faith pervades: AfterLife, a social media platform that allows subscribers a chance at resurrection, based on the votes of other users.
So many Lives, forever interlinked, and one structure at the centre of it all: The Rig.
On the Page
Content warnings are written up by me, unless specified. Subject to being an incomplete list, though guided by referencing this list and trying to highlight as many as I can identify.
- he Rig is unlike any book I’ve ever read. I can’t say I fully understand what happened, now that I’ve reached the end. I think a lot of it went over my head. Honestly, I feel a couple readthroughs, especially after learning the twists would help a lot in my overall understanding. But even still, I don’t count that as a negative against this book. Far from it. In fact, I enjoyed this book immensely. As I was reading it, I always thought about when I’d have some free time to read more it, because it’s a book that invests you early in, keeps you ensnared the entire time and never gives your mind a break; you always need to be thinking, processing, trying to figure it out, but also getting distracted by such a fantastic, futuristic society.
- Tallen, Bale and Delta were all intriguing and gripping characters. But while Razer was a favorite because I could connect with her so well, the story of Alef and Pellonhorc was like watching a train wreck, knowing it was something I shouldn’t be watching yet unable to tear my eyes away, needing to know what happens next. Levy does a fantastic job of not only making you think, but making you feel, and the story of this pair of friends is no exception. Actually, every story each character was involved in was so gripping, I actually wasn’t bothered at all to rush and see how they all were going to come together by the end. I was so invested in each, I didn’t pay much attention to the fact that, obviously, they have to come together at some point, but I just wasn’t sure how. But when they did, I was positively floored.
All-in-all, this was a fantastic book. The characters and their stories are too interesting to resist. The mystery/thriller aspect surprised me. The world was intriguing and helped scratch an itch that the teasing trailers and revealed gameplay of Cyberpunk 2077 has caused in me. Granted, I don’t think the societies are similar between the two, but the “vibes” felt the same. I didn’t realize how much I wanted that.
The plot was complex and intricate, reminding me almost of the intricacies of Cloud Atlas, a novel I don’t think you can read once and fully understand. I think The Rig has the honor of being the same kind of book. It deserves the attention of multiple reads to fully understand the cleverness and events of at it all. Plus, it’s intriguing enough to make you want to go through that journey. And the religious elements and questions I actually found I really enjoyed!
Oh, and the multiple formats in which the text was presented–narrative, text conversations, excerpts from the Song–made it just that much more immersive and real.
If The Rig has been on your radar and you’ve wanted to check it out, I highly recommend it. If it wasn’t on the radar before, then…well, you’re welcome.