Saturday, November 2, 2013
Publication Date: November 26, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Keywords: dystopia, rebellion, coming-of-age
Format Read: ARC via NetGalley
I'm going to do this review in parts, since there are several things I want to discuss.
The setting: Post-America dystopian monarchy ruled by one power-hungry family? Awesome.
The concept: Ranking people on a scale of I to VII based on intelligence and, of course, family ties (the rulers got VII). A IV was good, anything lower and you weren't really considered a citizen. Awesome.
The character: A girl who gets ranked a III and kidnapped from a brothel to replace a member of the royal family? Awesome.
So there are the basics. Then this book got real creepy real fast. Right off the bat, something happens that (I don't want to give it away, but it has to do with Elsewhere) takes this book from a cool dystopian-idea to HOLY CRAP THIS IS TERRIFYING. I was very impressed with the realistic characters Carter created and how they interacted with one another. And it wasn't always happy stuff. The evil exchanges were the most frightening and most well-written.
Another thing that really struck me as wonderful about this book was that no one was clear evil and clear good. Yes, there were some characters that were on the bad side, but you momentarily felt bad for them and saw them as human, and people flipped back and forth over the line so much. I was never truly sure how I felt about a character, and I suppose that will come with the future books (which I'm totally adding to Goodreads right now).
I also loved that it wasn't driven by a girl trying to get a boy. That was established with the first page that Kitty was in a relationship, and it was refreshing for a change to not have a story driven by love interests. Rather, it was driven by equality of people, and a scary-ass family trying to monopolize the country.
And this doesn't have anything to do with the book itself, but the ebook copy I read was so nice! All the lines lined up correctly, and there were really cool chapter heads and everything! I was so impressed!
Read When: You're in a Hunger Games-dystopia-people-fighting-for-their-rights mood and you need a kick ass protagonist. Also this one comes out in 4 weeks, so go add this to your shelf now because you're going to want it.