Intolerant of pretense
This is a deeply ugly, ugly book, bordering on the sadistic. Horrible characters pile on and return again and again, and the two young protagonists are repeatedly brutalized.
Unlike, say, The Hunger Games, where the world is richly detailed, the characters nuanced (I'm talking only about the first book) and the violence driven by a compelling challenge, in this book the world is poorly imagined (it's an alien planet, but it appears to be identical to Earth, with a few Dr. Seuss creatures thrown in), the characters are dull and either noble or evil or incidental, and there's barely a plot line.
The novel is one long chase, without clear goals, seemingly plotted by a game of 52 pickup. Characters pop up, disappear, return, disappear, on and on, without any sense of a building narrative -- indeed, without any sense at all, much of the time. A lot of it's just unbelievable nonsense. (How did this long missing person get to this geographic point? Don't ask.) The author withholds and withholds explanation so long that when it comes, it's a huge letdown. Either you've long figured it out, or it's just kinda cartoonish and uninteresting. All of the above, actually.
This isn't just dystopia, it's a frighteningly pathetic world, where sadists are all powerful and good people largely inert, including the annoying, self-destructively indecisive narrator. Even the sad sacks of Orwell's 1984 stood a better chance. So why would anyone -- especially a young reader -- want to submit to this shallowly imagined torture?
Oh, because there are two more books, and good guys will, in all likelihood, prevail in the end. What that means for this book is that it has no ending -- unlike, say, any Twilight installment or The Hunger Ganes or, really, any other first novel in a series. Things so badly and badly and badly and it's over. Buy the next book to continue your misery.
No, thanks. I might look up the synopsis on Wikipedia, just to put an end to it, but I have no masochistic desire to submit to more meandering prose, random plotting, infuriating characters and ugly violence on this barely imagined alien world. I'm letting go now and forever.
I would and HAVE many times already. The narrator is just incredible and so perfectly fitted for this novel. I attempted to read the story in hardcover and could not get into it and so I decided to try listening and I am SO glad I did. The subsequent novels are even better.
I hate comparing books, this story is very unique
Manchee!!!! and of course Todd :)
perfect example of why audiobooks are awesome
This book is written in 1st person stream of consciousness. The hard won achievements of the good guys always seem to be wiped out more or less effortlessly by the bad guys. It's a difficult read, because events seem to leap out at the reader with no rhyme or reason. The loose threads of the plot may get bound up or just left dangling.
The Main Character is beyond Annoying. Nick Podehl does a great job portraying a little brat of a child. The only problem with this, is i was annoyed so much i had to stop listening to this book. While this book well written, and had a story that keep some of my attention, the main character was a young boy that all i wanted to do was smack.
Another Great performance by Nick Podehl.
Not in my mind.
I am an Avid Reader, I love all different kinds of books, from Mystery to Sci Fi and Horror.
I would recommend this book
I loved his dog, he made me laugh out loud so may times, that the people I work with thought I had lost my mind.
This was the first.
I did have an extreme reaction(s) to this book, I will not say to what parts, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but it's good.
Almost from the first page, is this story all about terrible things happening. It just rolls on and on and on and on.. (well you get the idea) There was no point during this book that I thought wow this is great, or even good. All I wanted it to do was end. Then the ending came and thats when I discovered something positive. With an ending like that, I have absolutely no compulsion to get the next book and immediately deleted it from my library!
Unfortunately I saw a lot of good press about this series and bought the first two books in the recent Audible specials. For anyone who has ready the positive reviews I wish to provide a warning:
This book is not a good listen or read, for anyone. The main character goes through enormous trials and hardships without learning a single thing to the point where you start rooting for the stereotypically evil bad guys. The 'plot' revolves around withholding key information which when revealed is 1) not worth finding out 2) withheld so many times in so many nonsensical ways that it is beyond annoying. The setting is uninteresting despite an interesting premise and the fleet of trucks driving through the plot holes and inconsistencies in the use of the main device is very distracting even for someone good at suspending disbelief.
I finished it to give it a fair hearing but i doubt i will ever bother listening to the second volume.
For a great series in a similar category read the excellent Hunger Games