Omega, they called that day. The end of the end. One enormous burst of electromagnetic radiation and everything that was even remotely electronic was fried to a crisp.
With the country in ruins, the new government declared it the Republic of the True America, imposed martial law, and separated all survivors into settlement camps. Now, 20 years later, three 16-year-olds uncover the dark truth: All this time they've been labeled Less Thans. Feared by society, they're being raised to be hunted for sport. Their only hope for survival is to escape with their friends... or risk certain death. Together they search for the fabled new territory in a heart-pounding flight to freedom, with sadistic hunters and the government's soldiers hot on their trail. Led by the unlikely Book and fearless Hope, these orphaned teens seek a better life, finding the best in themselves to fight the worst in their enemies.
©2015 Tom Isbell (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
Freelance theatrical designer in Chicago - listening to books while I paint has become my new favorite hobby!
Alternating chapters between the male and female protagonist give you an incredibly well-defined sense of this futuristic dystopian world as well as opens up the story to be understood from various perspectives and sentiments.
Book's journey with his fellow LTs (a modern day Lost Boys-esque group) is filled with angst towards the unfair hand they were dealt, determination to find a better world for themselves, a goodly amount of fear and the kind of camaraderie that only exists when an unlikely group of fellows are thrown together by circumstances beyond their control.
Yes - I listened to it all in two sittings, and really only put it down because I had to get to a meeting. Definitely keeps you captivated chapter to chapter.
Fitting well into the current trend of futuristic dystopian YA novels, this book has all the teen drama of a Hunger Games or Divergent but is layered with deeper themes reminiscent of the tortures of the Holocaust and other callbacks to the darker places of humanity's history.
Wow. I had to write something about this one. I've never done so much talking aloud to an audiobook. The characters are fully human. They defy expectations and, sadly - at times, manage to delve beneath the line of what we would deem acceptable human behavior. I wanted to punch characters in the face and scream, "c'mon, you're smarter than that!" There were also several moments when I said, (aloud, of course, because I talk to books,) "I didn't see that coming."
In short, this one surprised me. My only critique is that one of the main characters still remains a mystery. What ARE his motivations? Fortunately, I feel the author will explore this in the second book of the series.
I've enjoyed this book and all of its damn frustrating realism and recognition of human flaws.
I'm looking forward to the next one.
When I read the premise of The Prey, I was very excited to get this audiobook. I wanted to like it, but ultimately I was disappointed by it. It was told from the perspectives of two different characters, which was helpful to get multiple sides of the story, but Book was writing in first-person past-tense (stating at the beginning that he was writing all of this down), and Hope was talking in first-person present, which was really distracting.
In terms of narration, Christian Barillas had great voices for each of the individual male LTs, but all of his females sounded exactly the same: high pitched and whimpering. I wish the director had had him listen to Ariana's narration as Hope so he could know how she was portraying her and incorporate that strength and inflection into his narration of her. Ariana Delawari had much less distinction between the individual characters, but overall was very good. Her portrayal of one of the male characters was very grating, as the character was, but it set my teeth on edge sometimes. Their performances were pretty good separately, but when put together into a novel where they spoke as the other, it fell short.
The writing was not especially strong. There were some moments that were probably supposed to be big reveals that had a lot of potential to go somewhere but ultimately fell flat and were never addressed again. There were also so many unanswered questions that really needed to be addressed to build the world. (Who built the camps? Why do none of the females seem to suffer from radiation issues? Why are there only twin females at the other camp? How was a character living in isolation for so long suddenly found so easily? Why are the LTs killed off so easily if they've been trained and educated? Why is the hunting occurring so close to the camp? Who are the hunters? The list goes on...) It doesn't matter that the characters (especially Book) wouldn't necessarily have started off knowing these things; he's obviously been around enough to know them now that he is writing his story down.
There was also very little distinction between the characters personality-wise. For how many there were, there needed to be things to set them apart besides their names. It also seems the author forgot about most of the female characters once the groups came together. And for being a story about boys who, in many cases, have some sort of physical deformity, and girls with no obvious education, they are all surprisingly successful with homemade weapons against trained adults with automatic weapons and armored vehicles. It feels like the Ewoks versus the Stormtroopers; shockingly effective, with very little loss. Apparently the odds are ever in their favor.
I have heard this is going to be a trilogy. I would much rather have had the bizarre one-sided love-triangle occur in the second book, after the characters have had the opportunity to get to know each other, rather than throwing themselves at literally the first teenager of the opposite sex they have ever met. It also turns Hope, who started off as a strong, independent female protagonist into a simpering, fickle girl who can't do anything without the help of a male.
The ending made me angry. The characters, including those who should have known better, like Cat, decide to do something so profoundly stupid that it made me reconsider if I want to spend time on the next book. It felt like the author said to himself, "This is what I need to do in order to make a sequel", rather than resolving the story at hand and then continuing it later on. I really hope their foolish decision will come back to bite them in the butt in the sequel for their stupidity.
I wanted to like this story, but it did not pan out into a realistic story. There was very little loss, very few questions answered, a predictable romance, and a ridiculous ending. If you like dystopian young adult novels, it might be worth your time, and maybe the sequel will play out better, if you are willing to risk that investment. I'm still not sure that I am.
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