Stars: 1 out of 5
This is the second book I try by these authors, and I am less then impressed once again. Though to tell the truth, this seems to be a reprint of a much earlier work, which is probably why it is so bad. I mean, I gave Pattern Black 2 stars where this one barely scrapped a single one.
This book is tries very hard to be a cross between 1984, The Hunger Games, and the Walking Dead. Unfortunately, it does this very poorly, so neither of those three components really work. On a personal note, I was there for the zombies. Unfortunately, there are too little zombies in this book. They barely serve as a plot device. So that added to my disappointment with the book. If you come to it with a different lens, you might enjoy the battle of the “little man” against the tyrannical regime. I didn’t.
Probably because those parts of the story are also rather poorly realized. Subtle this book is not. The author has to telegraph every action, every plot point, and every plot twist in the book. It’s like he doesn’t trust the reader to get it, unless he is hammered on the head with it. This gets annoying really fast. I can get a hint. I don’t need everything spelled out for me.
It also devalues the events in the book, because that plot twist about City 7? That could have had such a big impact if it wasn’t telegraphed from a high mountain several chapters ago.
I also couldn’t care less about the characters, so nothing that happened to them was particularly shocking to me. I know I was supposed to root for Jonah in the Darwin Games, but I didn’t know him from Adam at that time, so I didn’t really care if he won or if Bear killed him. Honestly, the little we had of Bear’s backstory made him a lot more compelling as a character. And the least said about Ana, the better, because she is a typical YA dystopia heroine, and I stopped reading YA years ago precisely because I couldn’t stand that stereotype.
I would also like to point out that this book is not a complete story. It ends in a cliffhanger. Nothing is resolved, nobody is saved or even achieved their goals. There is no resolution or even payout for investing hours of your time into this story. If you want to know what happens to the characters, you will have to pick up the next book, I guess. Unfortunately, I don’t care enough to do so.
PS: I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.