Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Sci-fi
Themes: Survival, Training, Competition
Queer Level: Gay Main Characters; Straight Secondary Characters
This is a really impressive book. Extremely engaging. I usually take my time to read, but I physically could not stop. It has not left my mind since I picked it up and I doubt it will for a long time after. This is exactly the kind of book that I’ve been looking for all this time. By that I’m referring to the rare genre (teen m/m dystopia – this has to become a thing) AND in terms of enjoyment level. It’s an amazing feeling to be untied with a favourite book.
Stylistically, the writing was well-crafted. Every paragraph serves a purpose. It holds your attention and was easy to read. The plot can get you mad, but it’s supposed to. The sadistic action is well paced and balanced out with character development. They were an interesting cast; the characters I loved proved I was drawn to them for a reason. Then there were a bundle who completely turned the tables during the duration of the story. It was unpredictable yet naturally – so even when you pull the plug on someone, you can still see how they became the way they did and can’t blame them entirely for their downfalls.
I found the ending frustrating beyond belief… but only because it evoked emotion and got me to care that strongly. So -as much as I want to throw the book across the room and hound the release date for the next volume- I believe this is a good thing? Hahaha. I just have an inkling that this is probably what the writer wanted. [Highlight for spoilers: One single question is left ambiguous -we never saw Digory die, so is there a chance he lives? Really hope that he made it, especially since the romance was young, enjoyable, and oh so cute. We must wait for the next book for answers; suffer as Lucky does and feel a fraction of his torment. His drive. His new motive to fight. A bit of comfort is that if the writer really wanted to kill Digory off, he’d likely do so in a way that would have you sobbing for weeks (because he can obviously pull emotional strings as tightly he pleases) …Maybe I’m just in denial? *sob*]
Now let’s take a moment and address the concerns regarding the similarities to the Hunger Games. I received this warning before reading, but I’m glad to have both ignored them and kept them in mind at the same time (to compare it without being taken off guard). In my opinion, it only sounds similar but the experiences are so vastly different that the small details are forgivable. I’d list off the differences if I had the time and would not spoil 90% of the book. It would be easier to read it. It very well could have been an inspiration, but they are not the same story at all.
Any-who, I’ll be smuggling this title into as many recommendations as I can. Pretty excited to talk about it with friends!