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Magic or Madness
Justine Larbalestier
The Engineer of Human Souls
Josef Škvorecký, Paul Wilson
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James Dashner
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Marie Lu
Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1) (Wool, #1-5)
Hugh Howey
More Than This
Patrick Ness
Reached - Ally Condie Note: I’ll keep this short, unlike this book (not as bad as Insurgent though).

Spoilers are highly likely.

Keywords: Deserts, rebels, government, adventure, YA, teen, dystopia, love, friendship, disease, cure, society, rising, disappointment, betrayal, science, fish.

Rating:

Sentence: I sentence Ally Condie to the same mundane existence as the Pilot.


Review:

I can’t say I disliked this book, but I also cannot say I liked it. While I had high hopes after the first installment, I came to realize very soon after that the books are drier than a pile of old bones…in a desert. There’s no humour in times of disease; no light at the end of this transition; no passion, though there’s art, its creation and appreciation.

I can’t feel for the characters because I barely like them. Xander and Indie might be the only two characters I felt comfortable enough to feel for. Everything about this book is nostalgic and annoyingly stuck on how people have failed.

So the Society is the Rising? Isn’t that the story with any extreme forms of government? They are both the same, even if they try not to be. (Although in this case the Society actually literally inserts itself into the Rising so it seems like a different government, but it isn’t.)

The sad part is that Condie has so much to say that I can really appreciate. Choices; good, bad and the grey bits in between; rebellion, but also knowing when it should be about people rather than the war. It’s great in that sense, but things are not laid out completely. These are all half-baked ideas that could’ve been so much more passionate.

On top of all that, the reader will remember bits and pieces of what Cassia has lost and can already conclude things for her even before she has, which is super annoying. Even without the full story, it’s easy to see that Cassia is focused on the wrong questions, and when she does get the answers, how do they help anything?

And I have to complain, how is Cassia not pissed at being used so much? She seems indifferent to me, and I don’t trust that. I do not trust a head Archivist that punishes their own trader for stealing, but gets away with it herself. I don’t trust a pilot that is not the Pilot everyone needs.

I liked the introduction of voting and Anna being a person for the people. But there was not much expansion. I think I’d be more interested in an expanded story/look at the people struggling to the Otherlands. I want to see the Otherlands. I want to read about the vanishings. I want more from Indie’s perspective. And Caleb. And the Pilot (as annoyingly unimportant as he was, in the end). These seem like interesting stories, while Cassia’s is all about her curing Ky and remembering.

The author’s words felt as empty as Xander, when he as faced by the judgement of Oker’s people. It feels like she was tired and so over this. But at least it’s sort of over. It was like the biggest okay guy moment ever.