Publisher: Self Published
Format: Kindle Edition
I literally just finished this book and really don’t have much to say about it so this might be a short review. I didn’t like it, I didn’t hate it, but I definitely won’t be paying money for the next book in the series
Plot: Reid wakes up in the back of a van, tied up and blindfolded with no memory of how he got there. He’s quickly untied and tossed out in the middle of a forest with his only clue about what he’s about to face coming from one of his captors who says “he’ll be needing the fight in him”. I have to admit as soon as I read that I knew EXACTLY what this book was about (I didn’t read the synopsis before “buying” since it was free), and so will you if you’ve ever read that short story “The Most Dangerous Game”. Reid has been dropped in a huge fenced-in enclosure (seriously – miles and miles worth of land) where he and other children are being hunted by what turns out to be three Wolverine-like creatures (who I’ve decided to call “Jefferson Starships” because in the words of Dean Winchester “they’re horrible and hard to kill”). For the first half of the book Reid is alone – which of course means ½ of the book is 99% internal monologue – but as the book progresses he meets up with more kids and eventually becomes the reluctant leader of what sounds like at least a dozen boys and girls.
Review: As I said I really have no strong feelings toward this book one way or the other. There’s very little character development, Reid’s internal monologue is incredibly repetitive and boring, the same can be said for the action scenes, all the stuff with the other “tribe” of kids was just too Lord of the Flies for me, and there was zero romance. Granted it’s not like I expected romance when you’re on the run for your life but honestly by the time he started to have feelings for Leila I was becoming convinced she’s bad news bears. As has already been proven by the many other successful “man hunting man” books/movies/tv shows this
is a plot that can work but you also need to have engaging characters and enough action that I’m drawn in. I was just bored, and to be honest all I wanted to do was quit and re-read The Hunger Games.
One thing this book did reinforce was my serious dislike of how many current YA novels are being made into trilogies. QUIT WITH THE TRILOGIES!!! I’m sure it’s awesome to have 3 books you can sell instead of just one but when that comes at the detriment of your plot is it really worth it? This book, like so many first books, just drew out the “action” in such a repetitive fashion and only started moving things along toward the end, I’m assuming in the hopes of sucking in the reader and making them want to buy the next book. Save it Patty Hearst, I’m not buying any Stockholm Syndrome today!
I’m giving this book a 5/10 because I’m so meh about it but it wasn’t awful. I just think it would have been much better if she had made it A book, instead of part of a series.
Based on the following criteria:
How much did I like the hero: 9. I’ve really got nothing bad to say about Reid. He does his best to protect not only himself but all these other kids from the evil Jefferson Starships and find a way out. He never loses sight of his humanity (until the other group of kids) and sticks up for his friends. He seems like someone I’d like to be friends with, except for his fairly frequent bouts of self-pity. Dude, I know your situation sucks but you’re the best shot these kids have of surviving. Suck it up and do what you can.
How much did I like the love interest: Well there really isn’t one, but if you push for Leila I’m going to give her a 5. She ditches Reid but then comes back to save him, then they seem to get close, then she saves his life and kills one of the Jefferson Starships, but then at the end she seems to be plotting against Reid. She has her moments when she seems great but then just as many when I want to yell at Reid she’s not trustworthy.
How believable is the plot: Ummmm. Man hunting man? It’s not that I don’t think humans are capable of it but it’s just so far-fetched. Also: why is there all this free land in the middle of the Northeast? And are these Jefferson Starships supposed to be some sort of Army experiment into super-soldiers or something? It was a bit too much for me. 5.
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: I did see a few mistakes but overall the writing style wasn’t bad. But the book was seriously boring for the first half and all of the interactions with the Jefferson Starships were repetitive. 6.
How much did I want to keep reading: Not at all. Honestly the only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that when I finished I could re-read Catching Fire (my favorite of the HG books). Kids being hunted in the woods…how could my mind not go there? 2.
Glasses of wine I drank while reading: 0. Because I drank a little too much last night. But I’m going to have one now in order to try to forget I read this. Which I’m sure I will in 5 seconds because it just wasn’t memorable.
Final Score: 5/10. I do kind of want to know if Leila is going to betray Reid, what these Jefferson Starships are, and if the whole escape via the mine is going to work, but not enough to buy the second book. If anyone out there can give me a serious reason why I should change this opinion I’m all ears but it’d have to be the most compelling argument ever.