This book had quite a few negatives for me. Character development, especially Andrew's, was too slow for me. I really didn't understand Mia and Whitne...moreThis book had quite a few negatives for me. Character development, especially Andrew's, was too slow for me. I really didn't understand Mia and Whitney's friendship. It seemed very uneven in the beginning and then Whitney acted very resentful and pathetic the whole time they are on the run. Character reactions were off or silly. Characters would laugh at the oddest times, I thought. And the bad guy was ridiculously evil. The reasons for the Registry and really how American society ends up in this book really didn't work for me. I guess I just couldn't imagine a society with teenage boys running all willy nilly with no real support or direction and then forcing them at 19 to serve in the armed forces for four years. I guess I would expect more chaos from such a setup.
What I did like - I was worried this book would be very male-negative. We were supposed to like Andrew, but I found him overly stubborn (like, through the whole book). But I was happy when caring, stronger male characters showed up. I also liked Mia - even though I felt like, beyond her revelations of her society and not wanting to marry and then running, she really didn't grow as a character. At the same time I guess I would say she is strong willed, which I liked.
I was pretty bored at times for a book with characters on the run and in a very dangerous situation. Overall, this book was a meh for me.
Hmmm, so far the reviews are very positive for this book. I have to agree in liking the characters for the most part. Noelle is supposed to be very in...moreHmmm, so far the reviews are very positive for this book. I have to agree in liking the characters for the most part. Noelle is supposed to be very innocent, but she got a little immature for me at times. But I enjoyed the other characters very much, especially Jasper and Rachel. And the sex was pretty hot and plentiful. No real arguments from me on that.
I guess the biggest problem for me was the world building and the story beyond Noelle and Jasper's relationship. It just wasn't developed enough for me. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where few survived solar storms a few decades before. This book centers on the city Eden. I don't know if this means it is the only city to be built up after the solar storms or just the only one mentioned? The people in the City have really awesome technology, but a very strict moral code. People who do not follow their moral codes, i.e. no drinking or sex, are forced outside the City and are living in sectors along the city limits and must rely on themselves to survive. Or they are forced to live on farms, where I guess they are treated like slave labor? How or why this type of cultural divide developed after the solar storms is never really explained. How could they create such awesome technology so quickly after the devastation of the storms? Why the forced contraceptives? - overpopulation is mentioned, but does that mean there are not enough resources? or not enough non-ruined land to live on? I had too many questions by the end, and was left unsatisfied with the story.
So the point of the story, I think, was Noelle coming into her own, sexually and as a person. And I did enjoy that. But in the end, I just got too distracted with all my questions.
Aliens have come and gone. They landed, ignored us humans, and soon left. But where they landed, these Zones, they left artifacts behind, dangerous ar...moreAliens have come and gone. They landed, ignored us humans, and soon left. But where they landed, these Zones, they left artifacts behind, dangerous artifacts. Dangerous, because humans really have no idea what they actually do. But the humans, always curious, need these artifacts, to study and use. In the beginning of this book, Red is trying to work honestly, with the government, collecting these items. He has his past as a stalker, a person who illegally enters the Zone in search of artifacts to sell on the black market. He's trying honest work. But after a tragic run into the Zone and a family to feed, Red returns to his old ways.
I thought the majority of this book would take place within the Zone - Red making his way, avoiding danger, and picking up left over alien artifacts. But the majority of this book takes place outside of the Zone between Red's ventures into the Zone. We get to see how the Zone affects Red, his family, and those in town around him. It's amazing and depressing to see how much this zone affects the environment and people around it - mentally and physically.
We mostly see this world by way of Red, though we get another character's point of view half way through for a bit before going back to Red. Red's a hard man, which is understandable. Stalkers have to have a certain mind set. Red has what seems like a magical ability to know exactly how to navigate within the Zone. He has this fabulous Zone intuition - step there, crawl here, don't, for the love of god, touch that. It's how he survives.
The ending is abrupt and may be unsatisfying for some. I have mixed feelings. There's a build up that really pulled me in, so for it to suddenly end, it was a bit unsettling. But the more I think about it, the more it seems like the perfect place for the story to end. What Red is about to do, it fits that we would not get to see that.
What I like about his book was the slowness of the catastrophe. You have a post-apocalyptic world that at first pretty much goes on as normal and then...moreWhat I like about his book was the slowness of the catastrophe. You have a post-apocalyptic world that at first pretty much goes on as normal and then gradually unravels as the world slows and the days get longer and longer. We see this through the eyes of an 11 year girl. Julia is a quiet girl dealing with normal pre-teen things - friends, family, school, and boys - with the added stress of watching the whole world fall apart around her.
Having this one point of view made the story both frustrating and the story more realistic for me. Frustrating because I really wanted to know how the slowing down of the earth was affecting other parts of the world and we only get glimpses of this from what future Julia, who is narrating the story, tells us. But it did make things more real and frightening seeing it all from Julia's perspective. You get to know the people around her - family, friends, and neighbors - and therefore, it was more heartbreaking when awful or sad things happened to those people.
This post-apocalyptic story might not move quickly or have a ton of action, but the slow catastrophe is just as (and maybe more) frightening and sad.
This book takes place in the future where bioterrorism and environmental disasters have depleted much of the plants, animals, and technology. Most cou...moreThis book takes place in the future where bioterrorism and environmental disasters have depleted much of the plants, animals, and technology. Most countries are in ruin and people are barely making ends meet. Thailand is doing a little better than other countries. They tightly control their borders and inspect every piece of food that grows in and enters the country. The viewpoint of the book is from five different people including Anderson Lake, a man from the United States who works from one of the big corporations responsible for the bioterrorism, and who is looking for new foodstuffs being developed in Thailand and Emiko, a Japanese made Windup Girl, who is genetically superior, but is hated and seen as unnatural. None of the characters are necessarily good or even sympathetic, but they are fascinating. The story starts out slow and doesn’t really pick up until after all the characters have been introduced. It does take a few chapters to get use to the language. The author does not explain things outright. But once I got past the language barrier and got to know the characters and their stories, I was hooked.(less)