Set in the near future, this is about a country that is slower dissolving into one of those dystopian worlds we keep reading about. But for these teen...moreSet in the near future, this is about a country that is slower dissolving into one of those dystopian worlds we keep reading about. But for these teenagers it is just their world. They find themselves arrested and taken to a prison somewhere having been found guilty of crimes they don’t remember committing. This is an intrigue premise and while the adult clearly know what they are doing, the teens – and us – are kept in dark. Unsure about who is right and who is wrong and why they are hidden away from the world and forced to admit to their crimes. There are a lot of different characters with most of the focus on the children but occasional flashes of the Prime Minister and how he agreed to set up this prison. I loved the way some of the teens become institionalized and believe what the adult tell them, while cling desperately to what they know as the truth and plot escape and some telling on others to the guards in exchange for an easy life. The depiction of the inside of a prison feels very real and increases the tension with the kids being their own enemies at times. There is plenty of action with some frantic escapes attempted, while the differences in the teens characters show are pleasing to see. The writing is competent and engaging. The brisk pace means you will not stop reading until the end where there are some shocking events that will make you gasp and cry out. This is definitely not a book to read if you hate cliffhangers as this is a doozy! I can hardly wait to see what happens next and really hope that some answers are given to us. I have to admit to being a little bored of YA stories but this one really pulls you and manages to challenge as well as entertain. I certainly feel like I’m ready to read some more YA books now!(less)
Nicole is struggling with flashes of times and places she can’t possibly know about. She fears she is going crazy until she starts to fall for Griffon...moreNicole is struggling with flashes of times and places she can’t possibly know about. She fears she is going crazy until she starts to fall for Griffon, who helps explain that she is Ankh – one a few souls who can remember past lives. This sets the scene for a mixture of cross era romance, mystery and coming of age.
I loved the idea of a select few who are born over and over again and struggle to make the world a better place for the rest of humanity. The murder mystery from one of Nicole’s past lives was intriguing especially as anyone she knew could also be Ankh and someone from a past life. I never know who to trust and kept changing my mind about who was who! Nicole was a pleasant lead – her skill with cello was an interesting element which added an extra layer to both the story and her character. Her dedication with hours of practise makes her stand our as different from other teens in YA. Griffin was an ok love interest but never really stood out as anything more than someone convenient to explain to Nicole what was happening, in my opinion. However, his recall of his past lives could make the relationship seem a little bizarre given their ‘different’ ages but CJ Omololu manages to get the balance right so it never feels creepy.
For me both London and San Francisco stood out as fantastic historic places to set the scene and added a lot of flavour to the story. I have to add a little note about the front cover which I adore. The colours and the windswept look of Nicole are just fantastic.
Overall this was an easy read with some interesting plot arcs being set up for future books. A good summer read!(less)