Skip to main content

The Rising


The Rising

Enormous black machines with retractable arms swarm around him. These visions of the steel monsters have come to Alex Chin before; he calls them, privately, his “spells.” But usually when they happen, he’s at home in his own room, not out in public. This is fortunate because as the high school star quarterback, he doesn’t really want to be seen in a fugue state, mentally disappearing and “seeing things,” scribbling down pictures of them in a notebook. While he’s out of it. That is just all too weird for public consumption.

Alex has always been captivated by football, despite his beloved adoptive parents’ concerns about the danger of the sport. Actually, he sort of sneaked onto the high school team. His deception was only uncovered by An and Li Chin when the local paper ran an article about the young man’s promotion to starting quarterback as a freshman, a feat never before achieved at St. Ignatius College Prep. Now, as a senior, he stands ready to lead his team to the state championship finals. All the Wildcats have to do is win this game against the Grizzlies, and Alex is sure that victory is within their grasp.

"If you think you’d enjoy a compelling book that reads like a combination of THE BOURNE IDENTITY and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, then THE RISING is definitely for you."

Until he takes a hit that leaves him lying on the sidelines of the field, absolutely unable to move.

Alex’s tutor and classmate, scientific genius Samantha Dixon, is seated in the stands watching her student (and secret crush) calling and making the plays. But she misses the hit, distracted by an unusual man impeccably dressed in black (and who, oddly enough, smells of motor oil) who grabs her iPad from her backpack and takes off. Sam is headed after him when she hears a terrible cracking noise from the field and, horrified, realizes that it’s Alex who’s lying broken on the field.

As Alex glances up, he’s shocked to discover that he’s having another of his spells. Instead of the green turf, bleachers and players he expected to see, his field of vision is crowded with huge steel machines tearing up the artificial grass as they clank toward him.

Suddenly, a voice penetrates the vision, telling Alex that the hospital’s neurological team is waiting to examine him. And the young man realizes that the scholarship offers that would have enabled him to play football at college might never be utilized now. At the hospital, as Alex’s gurney is wheeled down the hall, he notices a gaunt, sickly-looking man staring at him and smelling of motor oil.

Miracle of miracles, Alex is not paralyzed. By the time he is reunited with his parents, he has recovered full movement of his entire body, and there is no sign of spinal injury. But while he is trying to talk his parents and the doctor into releasing him for next week’s playoff game, another of his spells floods his vision. He hears an odd foreign language being spoken to him by the gaunt man in black from the hallway as his head throbs painfully. He cries out, the stranger literally goes up in smoke, and the doctor and his parents reappear.

There’s a secret about Alex that even he doesn’t know. The Chins’ adoption of him wasn’t really legal, and his mother has never told him exactly where he came from. His blood tests don’t look like anything his doctor has ever seen before. He is special, and here for a reason. For years, the Chins have been able to keep him safe and hidden. Now, the man in black has come to collect Alex. An obsessive scientist has come to the wrong conclusions. A frightening assassin is pursuing him. And all that stands between Alex and crisis is his friend, Sam --- and one or two unlikely individuals who just might be able to rescue them all.

Heather Graham and Jon Land have joined forces to write a fascinating, highly readable thriller about a young man who doesn’t know his own identity and the dangerous ones who have come after him. If you think you’d enjoy a compelling book that reads like a combination of THE BOURNE IDENTITY and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, then THE RISING is definitely for you.

Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds on January 20, 2017

The Rising
by Heather Graham and Jon Land

  • Publication Date: December 5, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books
  • ISBN-10: 076537112X
  • ISBN-13: 9780765371126