Thank you to Lazy Day Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book to review.
I don’t remember the last time I felt so aggravated with a book the way I was with this one. It took some time to calm down and process all the thoughts that were raging in my mind after I finished the book – a whole day pretty much – and after much deliberating I realized something:
I can’t think of even one aspect of this book that I enjoyed.
I knew, or rather thought I knew, what I was getting into. Romance is the primary topic of the book, yes. But from the description I thought the love would be given time to develop, that there would be interesting scenarios and challenges that would appear in the main characters’ path. I thought Kallista would be a rebel, one who would change things and be persecuted for this, facing challenges that she’d eventually overcome and win in the end.
None of these things happened.
The book tried to sound like a post-apocalyptic novel, although it did not, at all. Kallista turned out to be one of the biggest Mary Sue characters I have encountered in YA fiction so far, and her and Sage’s insta-love was nauseating. It was a lustful obsession between the two, nothing more. There were no reasons for their ‘love’ to be classified as love since it was so rushed and sudden with so much forced sweetness that it didn’t feel believable at all. Kallista wasn’t a strong character whatsoever, and although her debate about telling the truth to Sage was rather understandable it was still exaggerated to such proportions that every time she said she didn’t know how to tell him I found myself groaning and rolling my eyes. The begging and complaining and the lack of reality in the characters was by far the most frustrating aspect, especially when it came to finding out that Kallista had been lying about her status. The scene was glazed over and was covered up so fast that any chance for character growth was instantly destroyed, disappointing me even more. The plot twists were nothing like what plot twists should be, having no impact whatsoever on me emotionally, if only just increasing my desire to put the book down and not come back to it. And her and Sage’s survival planning, I mean REALLY? Who spends not even a full day to try and learn how to survive in the wild?
The writing of the book itself was also weak. There was a ton of repetition when it came to Kallista and Sage’s feelings, so much in fact that about three-quarters of the book was no better than a barren desert. Many sentences were very elementary sounding, repeating Kallista and Sage’s names and furthering the action very slowly, having hardly any impact on the overall plotline. There was very little description of the world and I had practically no idea what it looked like geographically and what the surroundings were like, leaving a hollow feeling and distance between me and the book. It all felt very rushed and underworked, although ironically a majority of the book dragged on action-wise. There were jumps between scenes, especially after the scene changed to Vestige Island, and from there things went overall downhill with a very confusing jumble of action, and then a lot of characters entering the story either in person or simply being mentioned, the cliff hanger at the end being no help whatsoever as it only piled onto the already existing mess of events.
So much lost potential. The vague summary of this book left so much to be anticipated, and none of that delivered. It could’ve been a tale that developed a love story between two people and their fight against the world, including natural and well-timed reactions that didn’t feel forced and developed the action. It could have been something really amazing, but I was left terribly disappointed and in a state of ranting upon finishing this book. It took a common problem of insta-love and magnified it to an extent, slapping together characters and a vague world, dragging out most of it while increasing the ending of the story to an unbearable speed and leaving off with an unsatisfactory ending. Even by the summary of the next book I could tell it probably won’t be getting any better, and with the time I spent with this book and resulting dissatisfaction I definitely won’t be reading the next one, and would warn people to approach this one with an open mind and not expecting anything too splendid. This will appeal to a certain reader, but one who wants a really light on-the-surface book that will be nothing more than eye candy and a sugarcoated version of love.