Well this series was a pleasant surprise. To tell the truth, I only read these books cos I was in a slump, so my only wish going in was for it to not be terrible… And whaddya know- it wasn’t terrible! Success! Yes, sometimes I have low standards- but to be fair to me I do enjoy the occasional YA dystopia- I just feel like I’ve spent the last few years being burned by them *cue sad music*
So when this surprised me by having complex world building, a creepy setup and started going in a direction I did not expect… Well let’s just say I was prepared to eat my own hat.
But hold your horses- it wasn’t all good. Because there were huge problems with this series… starting with the instalove. It was going so well- why oh why did they have to put in such a shoddy romance?! *Sigh*.
I have to say, one of the reason the romance sucked was cos the male characters were nothing but eye candy. I’m all for girl power, but c’mon does that mean most of the men have to be devoid of personality? Whhhy?! Lucien was the only interesting character really and he was a carbon copy of Cinna from the Hunger Games crossed with a tame version of Varys from Game of Thrones. Other than that a lot of the characters fell a little flat for me. I wasn’t crazy about the fact that the main character was hyperaware of everything that was wrong with her world from the start, because it allowed for less character growth as the series progressed (this is a theme I’ve noticed in dystopias which I’ve always thought of stylistically as 1984 vs Handmaid’s Tale– this definitely falls into the latter category). It was even more of a shame that they decided to substitute her actually learning something as a person for developing powers- which is yet another snowflakey YA trope.
In terms of plot, it had its ups and downs. There were times when not a whole lot was happening… *insert cricket noises*. But it was very addictive and had a fair amount of DRAMA to keep me engaged. Unfortunately, by book three the heightened action really could not make up for the lack of characterisation. Plus the ridiculous scheme they come up with is ridiculous, the ending is completely expected and naturally there’s a pointless death to spur the main character into action…
So yeah, in summary, there really wasn’t anything unique or original here (go figure, since I’m pretty sure this was marketed as Hunger Games meets Handmaid’s Tale meets Selection). That said, it was good for a slump, and for that reason, I gave it:
Rating: 3/5 bananas
So which books have you found helped you get out of a slump? (even if they were mediocre like this one) Let me know in the comments!