Trapped-in-a-building-by-nature stories have been done and done and done again, and few of them show any signs of originality. "Trapped" retells a fam...moreTrapped-in-a-building-by-nature stories have been done and done and done again, and few of them show any signs of originality. "Trapped" retells a familiar tale: several teens become trapped in a school as snow continues to fall, and as conditions deteriorate, they must make increasingly difficult decisions in an effort to stay alive.
"Trapped" isn't a terribly unique addition to the legion of teens-in-a-natural-disaster tales, but that isn't to say that it's not a good read: the characters -- which do remind one of the "Breakfast Club" lot -- are fairly well-rounded (within the context of the story, anyway), the pacing keeps one from getting bored, and Northrop does a good job of creating an atmosphere of impending doom (be it at the hands of nature or fellow students). That said, the ending does leave something to be desired and is in several ways unsatisfying, leave several questions unanswered. As it stands, "Trapped" is a good read, but with a better ending, it could have been better.
(Disclosure: I acquired this book through the GoodReads First-Reads program.)(less)
(Note: This book was won in a GoodReads First Reads giveaway.)
I'll spare the "Up Against It is about..." bit -- it's covered by many other reviews, a...more(Note: This book was won in a GoodReads First Reads giveaway.)
I'll spare the "Up Against It is about..." bit -- it's covered by many other reviews, as well as the official summary above -- and stick with my opinion of the book.
I entered the giveaway for this book because I'm a diehard science geek and a fan of "hard" science fiction. "Up Against It" is fantastic at first, and I burned through the first 100 pages in about two hours. Unfortunately, the story (and my interest) dropped off a bit after that.
The story itself is original and rather intriguing, though, as others have mentioned, the resolutions of certain problems do occasionally smack of deus ex machina, but such is the downfall of many science fiction novels. The writing is a bit dry -- at times, "Locke" seems a bit too enamoured of her own imagined world and its "ain't it cool" nanotech -- and the teen-romance element failed to interest me in the least (I'm not really a fan of YA fiction). Indeed, my favourite element in the book was the feral AI created by the accident that sets the entire story in motion.
The ending was both ambiguous and strangely satisfying, and suitably unresolved, leaving the possibility for a sequel (which, I'm assuming, was the point). Faults aside, it wasn't a bad read: the characters were realistic and marginally likable, the story original, the science well-researched. "Up Against It" wasn't a home run for me, but if it happens, I'd definitely pick up the sequel.(less)