In the beginning, I thought this showed promised, but now that I’ve finished, I don’t believe I will continue the series.
Before I try to explain why, if you are interested in this book, I strongly suggest you DO NOT listen to the audiobook. Choose print instead, because two of the main side characters have almost the same name (Loch vs. Lark—could be spelling both wrong). At first, these characters have separate storylines, but once they run together, the similar pronunciation becomes very confusing.
To make matters worse, the MC has no consistency with Loch and half the time calls him Lochlan, making it further confusing…because one second he’s Lochlan, and the next time she says Loch, Then, I’m not sure if she actually said Loch, or if she meant Lark. Let me stress that this is no fault of the narrator, who does a good job reading. She was just saddle with two incredibly similar names and an inconsistent text, which made her job more difficult.
Now that is off my chest, this is a standard illegal second child in an artificial world because earth has been destroyed story. Both of those are extremely common tropes, but since I typically find them interesting, that wasn’t a huge problem. It obviously means you shouldn’t expect a lot of originality in the storyline, but unfortunately, you’re also not going to get much originality and growth with the characters in this novel.
The writing is not awful but also not great. There is less showing and more telling than I prefer, but it’s okay. The action scenes never inspire much emotion in me at all, and it feels like I saw everything coming from a mile away. I honestly think it’s more about how they’ve been written than that they aren’t interesting scenes.
As for the rest:
The plot –meh. Nothing new here or all that exciting. Still, I would be totally fine with a cookie cutter plot as long as it was well-executed. I can forgive a lot for good execution and emotional investment, which I just didn’t have with this storyline, particularly in the last half of the novel.
The characters — started out okay but did not develop well. Most of them became less interesting to me as the story progressed, which was really disappointing, as I was quite interested in them to start. This is part of the reason I won’t continue the series. The side characters start to feel like caricatures of the expected YA sidekicks. The adult characters, in particular, lack depth. Either that, or it’s just how the MC views them…which means the MC lacks perspective. Either way, it bothers me.
The world — definitely interesting, but also nothing really new here. The world building could be better for me. It’s not terrible, but I don’t really have any desire to visit or live inside this world, which is the case with most novels that I love (even when the worlds are dreadful).
The Sci-Fi elements: definitely not going to wow a sci-fi nerd.
That being said, I obviously like something about this novel, because I read it pretty fast. I think that there were just too many things that characters did that seemed unbelievable or untrue to themselves and their world that it pushed me to disconnect from the story.
For example SPOILERS REMOVED.
While reviewing, I have realized that there’s actually quite a bit about this story that doesn’t sit that well for me. I think I’ll stick with 3 stars, but I may be leaning towards more of a 2.75 in my mind now.