DISCLAIMER: I was fortunate enough to be able to beta for Madeline Dyer’s newest book, Fragmented. The book is th*A few spoiler lie beyond this point*
DISCLAIMER: I was fortunate enough to be able to beta for Madeline Dyer’s newest book, Fragmented. The book is the second in the Untamed series. I beta read, yes, but I feel that makes me harsher than most. I helped her rip the book to shreds. I didn’t look for comma mistakes, well, I did, but I looked for plot holes (of which there were none) and places where her characters were in different locations suddenly (which happens to us all). At the end of a lengthy and grueling process, 99.999% she did alone, some zillion edits before she let anyone see it, she had an amazing, dark, twisting YA book that overshadows her first one. That’s saying something because her first book is one of my favorite YA books. Now, you can go and look on Twitter and see that we are friends. I promise you that doesn’t color what I’m saying. I’ve had friends publish things that I just gave 3 stars and a short review to, saying some obscure comment about the decency of the story. I don’t go out of my way to review things unless someone asks it of me, which she didn’t. I just felt, that before the book is even pre-sellable, people should hear one woman’s opinion about what it sure to be a top YA book of 2016.
P.S. The Release Date is September 7, 2016
On to the review:
Fragmented is dark, both in tone, setting, and content. Not so dark that it can’t be considered YA, mind you, or at least, the new definition of YA. Madeline pushes the envelope to the point of almost opening but stops herself just short. It is still a YA though it’s obvious she could ease into adult fiction without problems.
The settings in Fragmented are grounded even though it is a fantasy and dystopian novel. You’ve been to these places, seen these things, only you haven’t. She spins them just enough to be foreign and engaging. Sometimes I’d stop and think, I’d like to be there. The waterfall is the place I most want to visit (you’ll see when you read it). As she paints the locations into views, she has you breathe them in. The dust gets caught in your tired and overworked lungs, the water chills your dirty, sticky skin, the rock scrapes against you, ripping your clothes. No moment is wasted though every moment isn’t spent telling you how to feel. Sometimes, you are just lead to the water, others your head is forced so hard into the lake you can’t breathe.
That brings me to the best part of her book: tension. My God Madeline Dyer can write some tense scenes: have-your-muscles-in-knots-for-days tense. The best things about the piano wires that lie within her book, just waiting to be plucked, is you never know which you’ll get: Hitchcock or Saw. Better yet, you don’t care. Some authors are better at one, you crave only the implied or need the gore because the implication just isn’t enough. Dyer is much better than all of that. She writes in paragraphs, she writes in lines, staccato overwhelms your brain, fluidity stretches your nerves. It’s all different, and yet, all so stressful. The book isn’t full of tension though if that isn’t your thing. She has something for everyone.
The story is vivid and bright, unique more times than not. When it isn’t, I wasn’t bothered. Some things felt necessary, new or recycled. So as not to spoiler the hell of out things, I’ll just say a little more on this (as we are MONTHS away from the book even being promoted heavily). This book is heavy. It’s not a fun romp in the hay, or an easy cozy mystery, both of which are great genres that I love reading. It’s a fast-paced, unstoppable, unputdownable book that will have you keeping the light on until late devouring the last words. Fragmented is a journey that picks up where the first book left off and leaves a massive cliff hanger for book 3 (can you imagine my struggles, having so much longer to wait than everyone else?). The travelers, as it were, have their minds made up of what their plans are, but things go awry, as life often does. Seven and Corin find themselves in such horrible situations that tear them apart, but also bring them back together in a way that only trauma can. Even though these are fictional scenarios, the reactions are very real.
Seven, the main character of the series, is very flawed. Madeline gives you all the reasons in the world to love her, but also to hate her. Seven isn’t made out to be the hero 100% of the time, nor does Dyer try to keep her spotless or likable. There were moments that I would have been fine if she died, but it was on purpose. The calculated moves were that of a chess game. Other characters, Corin in particular, have more than just one motivation behind their actions. It makes them grounded, whole, relatable. I’ve known that person, well, minus the whole having to kill someone or fight off spirits... but I’ve known the stressed out guy who does all he can to do what he thinks is right and try to win the girl. More importantly, I’ve watched him fail and succeed a hundred times in real life. Then, when put in a scenario such as the Untamed series, Fragmented especially, I can see him acting just like that. He waivers, he stands tall, then he falters again. He’s real. Madeline has characters that will break your heart, enrage you and have you laughing out loud (inappropriately so, but still).
It took me a while to add a review thanks to... life, but here you go!
Madeline Dyer has a way with imagery. From the first sentence to the last, you sIt took me a while to add a review thanks to... life, but here you go!
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