As a Hunger Games fan, the YA dystopian aspect of this novel enticed me. But since I am definitely not a runner, I did not expect to find it more than mildly amusing. I am happy to admit how wrong I was! The author’s style was incredible, drawing you into the story from the very beginning, and forcing on the reader an emotional connection with the characters.
**WARNING: Intentionally vague but potentially major spoiler alerts!!**
I absolutely adored Silva! But then I generally do admire strong female protagonists (à la Katniss). It is only as the story progresses and we learn more about her that we come to realize just how amazingly tough Silva really is.
Gus was another clever personality who I really enjoyed getting to know. I was a bit confused by the entire fireworks scene; at first I thought they were trying to blow up the incinerator or something. And I was also somewhat thrown by the entire episode with Edwina. Other than exposing just how important it was that Gus keep his job and showcasing his inordinate skill at gaming the system, the entire incident seemed nothing more than a brief, unnecessary distraction from the real plots that were unfolding.
I totally loved Franco! He was perhaps the most intriguing character of the entire book because we learn so little about him as the story progresses, and don’t really come to know him at all until he is basically out of the picture. His feelings for Silva are so obvious to everyone but her, which makes them seem even more profound. Their all-too-brief interlude of shared emotions is far too short, and made me want to see more of them together; especially when the very last scene begins to unfold and we learn the extent of Franco’s feelings for Silva. I did find it hard to believe, however, that he would let her go off alone, to go home and be captured by the bad guys so easily.
I even came to like Liam. Once a true friendship developed between him and Silva, he became much more of a real person and not just a cliché. His reaction at the race celebration, while perfectly ordinary for the person we originally meet, seemed very much out of character for the individual that he had come to be.
I had, at least by the end, guessed at the motivations behind all of the pregnancy tests; I clearly figured it out before Silva did anyway. But I was truly taken by surprise by the reasons for it, not to mention the connection to the red-haired girl. That Silva ran into her as the story begins becomes very auspicious. I was completely astonished by what becomes of Liam. Even seeing the old geezer hacking away on television, I did not see that one coming. It was pretty apparent early on that Gus was hiding something, and Franco as well; although I hadn’t quite figured out how they fit together. Nor did I anticipate the info we discover about Silva’s father. Basically, the author was just full of unexpected plot twists and entertaining surprises.
I was so happy to hear that this is the first of a series, not just a stand-alone book. Because although there were so many questions answered by the end, there were still so many left unanswered; not to mention the fact that the action just did not seem in any way complete! I definitely recommend this book, and I personally can’t wait for the sequel!
I received an eBook copy of this book free from Curiosity Quills Press in exchange for my honest review.