I’m going to be figuring out my thoughts on this book while I write this post. I finished it last night and, while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t really satisfied with it.
The plot is solid. It starts with a nice mystery, add in some flashbacks for context, then, as the characters get more information, becomes a decent action book. Overall it’s fine, but nothing spectacular.
I actually had a lot of trouble getting through the book. After thinking about it for a while, I think the problem was that nothing was exceptional, everything was just… fine. Mark was a good protagonist, he made good decisions, and grew through the course of the book, but I expect that from a main character. What Mark didn’t do was surprise me. He never did anything that I thought set him apart from any other generic protagonist in a dystopian novel. (I actually had to look up his name before writing this post because I had forgotten it in the two days since I finished the novel.) I felt the same way about Alec. If anything, I thought Alec was a little too good at everything, which made his character a little less likeable.
The female characters were probably the biggest problem in the book. We’re told that Lana has worked with Alec, and her skills match or exceed his own, but we never see it. She’s portrayed as a medic in the first part of the book, then she’s more of a damsel in distress for the rest of it. She’s given almost no personality. Trina may be even worse. Her only role in the book was as Mark’s love interest. She also had a limited (or non-existent) personality, and has no skills to contribute to the group.
I’m not trying to say that this is a bad book, because it’s not. It just isn’t a special book either.