I received this book free to review, in exchange for an honest review, from Susanne Valenti here on WordPress.
Terrified of the contamination and the creatures it has created, humanity hides behind The Wall. No one knows what lies beyond the wasteland. Maya has never thought much about what might still be out there, lurking in the forgotten places. But when she’s thrust into the unknown, she is forced to question everything she has ever been told. Not everyone outside died, some of them became something… else. As her heart is torn in two, every choice she makes is harder than the last. What she discovers will change her forever. She knows she will probably die, but Maya has seen enough of death and she won’t let it have her without a fight.
My Rating: ★★★★★
It all starts off with Maya having a nightmare about her parents death, one that she didn’t witness. When she wakes up and starts getting ready her friend Taylor comes to her apartment and let’s her know about this..is expedition the right word? It’s what I am going with. This expedition to outside The Wall to find out if some soil near the wall is good and not contaminated. Taylor’s dad just happens to be a scientist on this expedition and got them both a spot in it. There is some exposition here, I mean. What can you expect it’s the first book of a series in a new world?
When they reach the first point in the beginning of the expedition they have to shower, and change into skin tight biohazard suits that protect them from the contamination outside. And yes, I am italicizing that word, because in this world it’s spoken like a dirty word. After they put on the biohazard suits and go down the cable cars, each little team of two, which Maya and Taylor just so happen to be grouped together, go and explore their assigned area. Everything is going good for a little bit. They inspect one house and get samples. Then the next house has a swing on the tree and Taylor wants to swing on it. So he does. And Maya pushes him. Except she didn’t think about Newton’s laws and the fact it would be coming back. Taylor crashes into her and her ventilator breaks. Well cracks. They ignore it. Until she can’t breath. Then Taylor takes off her helmet so she can. This is of course breaking the law.
Maya, Taylor and his father are all kept in holding cells for about a week before being put on trials. Taylor’s father gets off without any repercussions, because he didn’t do anything wrong. Maya is sent to the SubWar, basically jail, and so is Taylor. For 3 months. Do they last that long? No.
They train for 12 days. Maya is great with a throwing knife and a gun, but can’t do hand-to-hand combat to save her life. Literally. On their first day in actual SubWar people from their team try to kill them and a Warden that has been helping them out, Laurie. Taylor gets grazed by a bullet to his head and falls into a coma. A the three of them escape into the contaminated area thanks to a boy named Coal, who actually lives out there.
Laurie and Maya realize that everything they have been told and have been living is a lie. They go to Coals town where they get told by the head Medical staff there that she will help Taylor, if they in turn do something for her. Of course they do it.
I am going to stop my summary there. Don’t want to tell you the whole book, now do I?
I really liked this book. I read it in less than 24 hours. Maybe even less than 12 if you count the times that I had to stop. It has the basic set-up for a dystopian. Main character realizes their “perfect” world isn’t all it is made up to be. Escapes to the outside world to find it better and what she has been looking for this whole time. Has to do a dangerous task for this new community in exchange for their help. Some hints of romance.
But unlike a few dystopians that I have read with this set-up, AKA Delirium, I actually ENJOYED it. Because it wasn’t throwing all the exposition in my face at a single time. It was sprinkled here and there. The story was well written and I ate up every bit of it and honestly can’t wait for more. I feel like this, if it can gain the popularity I think it can, would make an excellent movie franchise. And it would be beautiful.
The characters are well rounded, maybe leaning towards a little Mary-Janeish. There wasn’t tons of character development, but I felt like since it is going to be a series there will be time for it. And it wasn’t like the book was lacking in it. Maya and Laurie did comes to terms with the truths they have known their whole life to be a lie fairly quickly. In 198 pages though, it was the perfect amount of everything. There was a lot of world building in the book, which is what a first book needs also, in my opinion.
I still feel like I haven’t entirely told you how I feel about the book. Or maybe I haven’t told you enough about why I like the book?