Included at the end of this ARC was an author’s note asking reviewers to not “spoil” this novel with their review. He asks that all reviewers “avoid giving away the good stuff.”Well, lucky for me there was no good stuff, so I don’t think I really have to honor that request. In the immortal words of the MC, I have the following to say:
“He thinks he can push people around. He thinks he owns people.”
First things first, are there zero original ideas left? I guess it’s my own fault for not taking the blurb at face value, but when I read “a gripping sci-fi adventure trilogy in the vein of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner” I didn’t realize it meant it would be a jumble of every plotline from every dystopian YA book ever written (with a little Lord of the Flies thrown in for good measure).
I also didn’t realize that nothing would happen. The premise sounded both original and action-packed:
A girl wakes up in a coffin-like enclosure in a war-torn environment, discovers there are others (both living and dead) with her, and has to fight in order to survive.
Sounds promising, right?
Yeah, notsamuch. Here’s what really happens: A girl wakes up on her 12th birthday in a coffin/cradle/bed/whatever, finds other kids, and discovers although they all believe they are 12, they now look like this kind of 12 year old . . .
Although the names contained on their “enclosures” (for lack of a better term) clearly state first initial and last name, the MC decides her name will be “Em” rather than “M” (Please note everyone else will be referred to by their last name. WTF is the point of the “Em” bullshit? Especially when her last name is SAVAGE. I would totally want to be known as motherf*&^ing Savage!), and immediately elects herself as leader. Ummmmm, doesn’t anyone watch Survivor anymore? You never want to declare yourself leader. When you do, this happens . . .
We then deal with various other “children” losing their shit because they want to be the leader. A whole lot of this ensues . . .
I tried to make a game out of how many times Em talked to herself about how she was the leader, but taking a shot each time made me pass out by like the 14% point so I had to stop playing. Seriously . . .
WE GET IT. QUIT TALKING ABOUT HOW YOU’RE THE LEADER AND SUCH-AND-SUCH WANTS TO BE THE LEADER YOU F-ING BROKEN RECORD!
There are also various remarks are made about symbols the kids have on their forehead. It was all very Sneetches and I’m sure there will be a super valuable lesson to be learned by any of you who ride this turdpile out through Book #3 . . .
Since this is a YA story, we also have to toss a little horniness into the mix. Even though the characters are all 12 (with voices of approximately 7 year olds), our MC fails to notice the carnage that surrounds her, and notices the beauty of bachelor #1 upon his emergence from his “coffin” instead. She “shamefully” fantasizes about what would happen if their clothing ripped and she *gasp* saw a “grown man” naked and in stressful times she makes sure to take note of important things like, “his eyes . . . so blue” and the way he smells “it’s distracting – almost as if I like it, but it doesn’t smell good”
Nearly the entire remainder of the book consists of walking through hallways and every once in a while coming across stuff . . .
But then back to walking. Always walking . . .
Oh, and arguing about who is leader and who should be leader and WHY WON’T THEY STOP F-ING TALKING ABOUT WHO IS THE LEADER?!?!?!?!?!
Generally in a trilogy, book #2 or 3 is the “filler” book. Not this time. Nope, #1 was the one that could have had 90% of it left behind on the cutting room floor. Hands down this was the worst start to a dystopian series I’ve read. Obviously I won’t be reading the next book. For those of you who will? Well . . .
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.