Brasilia, Brazil | Member Since 2012
After reading the first book and loving it, I had to read the sequel. This book is excellent as well, with some parts going on for too long, but the story more than makes up for it. I can't wait for the third book to come out!
This book is a masterpiece. So beautiful and strong. As a women, you feel for her every step of the way. I love her descriptions of 'our time', her longing for things that we take for granted. But I specially love the voice of the character. And Claire Danes reading it. Perfection.
Mostly a pleasant read, done in almost one sitting. Loved the style, the voice, the narration and the work over all. It did have some issues though:
In the beginning the book is a bit confusing. Then, the premise becomes ridiculous. After that, it feels like it's gonna be a great story. But... it disappoints you. It floats a bit in fanfiction-like world before going through a few cliché routes. In the end, it's not so bad, but you're left with a bittersweet feeling of how good it could have been. Since it is a series, and a long one at that, it will probably improve over time.
I don't get the Harry Potter comparison as it feels nothing like it. I saw influences of Mistborn: the final empire, the Hunger Games, and unfortunately, some Twilight. I wish instead of falling in the same old tropes, the author had subverted them and made something actually unique. But I guess it's too much to expect from a first attempt.
From now on I get a bit SPOILERY. You've been warned.
What was great:
- The dystopian scenario and the main character predicament at the beginning of the book are incredibly frightening and compelling. I wish it wouldn't have been dismantled so easily in the end. I wish some of the psychological consequences of it had been better explored.
- Page's characterization (compassionate, but with some self-preservation - something that seems to be lacking in YA heroines these days - I'm looking at you Bella Swan and Elena Gilbert. Katniss, of course, is the exception to this silliness and actually wants to stay alive).
- Special mention to her heartbreak moment that felt so real. Bonus points for the fact that Nick liked a boy and that wasn't even a point of note in the novel - not even remotely important for the character's sad heartbreak. Also her unravel from that as we've all been that sad, so sad, saddest teenager ever.
- As someone already mentioned, the alternate history was fun. The setting in Oxford was clever. Some ties to mythology were good too.
- Her relationship to Jackson is particularly interesting and sad. It makes for a curious dynamic in her gang.
What was bad:
- The author could have left out (with no damage to the plot whatsoever) : The blood drinking. The telepathic bond. The 'soul' drinking (although this one could be important later, I guess...). The age of the male hero (did he have to be 200? can't he have been a God already? Eternal? Or you know, young, and actually age appropriate for the heroine. That would be nice for a change these days...). Someone's been reading way too many vampire novels. Or way too many times one in particular. She does write waaay better though...
- The romance. While the unrequited love for the best friend was lovely, natural, and well-written, the love story with the warden felt rushed and out of place. For the initial chapters I thought they were going to avoid that trope, which made me smile. But then I was disappointed. Maybe I'm just sick of women falling in love with men who have so much power over them in these novels. Aren't they so great, 'giving' them all these little freedoms and concessions to do things that were theirs to begin with? She kept some elements of the resentment in there, but not enough in my opinion. This guy was her OWNER. And he invaded her most private memories, forcing a state of intimacy (another plot device that was not.good.) on her. She should have been way more conflicted about him and not only about whether or not she should trust him...
- The damsel in distress. Paige had this kickass power... but every time she uses it, some male character has to come to her rescue. That got old real quick.
What was clumsy:
- How did her friends actually figure out how to show up to save her? And what a GREAT freaking coincidence it was that it was on the same day of her jailbreak plan!
- How convenient that her warden had been part of a past rebellion. His 180 from mean tough slave-master to sweet kind revolutionary was done poorly and unbelievably.
- The premise of what all these slaves were actually doing there was never really cleared up.
- Do flesh-eaters just disappear now that everyone's run away from Oxford?
- There was a missed opportunity for character development among the slaves. And among some other characters of her gang, which were barely more than names.
- I couldn't keep track of which mean guy was which... they were all so generically... evil.
- How she got caught. If people scanned the train all the time and if it was so easy to spot her... her father could have waited a bit no? For the next vacation? It was contrived and completely out of character as Page seemed perfectly sensible to risky situations later on.
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