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The Fearless

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The Fearless. An army, powered by an incredible new serum that makes each soldier stronger, sharper, faster than their enemies. Intended as a force for good, the serum has a terrible side-effect - anyone who takes it is stripped of all humanity, empathy, love. And as the Fearless sweep through the country, forcing the serum on anyone in their path, society becomes a living nightmare.

Cass remembers the night they passed through her village. Her father was Altered. Her mother died soon after. All Cass has left is her little brother - and when Jori is snatched by the Fearless and taken to their hellish lair, Cass must risk everything to get him back.

400 pages, Paperback

First published April 24, 2014

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About the author

Emma Pass

6 books393 followers
Emma Pass grew up at an environmental studies centre near London, went to art school in Cornwall and now lives in the north-east Midlands, UK. Her YA dystopian thriller ACID is out from Random House Children's Books on 25th April 2013 (UK), Mondadori on 13th June 2013 (Spain) and Delacorte on 1st April 2014 (US). Another standalone thriller, The Fearless, will follow in the UK in 2014.

Are you on Twitter? I'll be taking part in a #UKYA Twitter chat on Monday 14th April 2014 at 5.30pm (GMT) as part of Project UKYA's April Extravaganza. Come and ask me questions about my books and my writing! I look forward to chatting with you!

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5 stars
367 (31%)
4 stars
412 (35%)
3 stars
281 (23%)
2 stars
83 (7%)
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33 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 190 reviews
Profile Image for Cora Tea Party Princess.
1,323 reviews802 followers
October 30, 2015
5 Words: Survival, family, love, realisation, strength.

I wonder if this will be a series? Part of me really wants it to continue, because that story! But the other part thinks it's be perfect and so incredibly brave to be left as a standalone. Be brave, YA authors! Don't be afraid to have a standalone! Or twenty! I love standalone reads so much more than a series.

This was a great read. Fearless was fast paced and exhilarating, and I felt it really challenged me as a reader, made me really think about what I was reading. With Cass being the protagonist, it was her views and beliefs that I was accustomed to, and with the introduction of Myo her own thoughts started to get a little hazy and I wasn't sure what to think.

But Cass did annoy me a little, and that seems to be a general consensus among the other reviews I've read. She's the type of person that'd be sorted straight into Gryffindor if she went to Hogwarts, a jump-first-think-later kind of person, more than a little reckless too.

This was quite a creepy book when I really think about it. A bit dystopia-meets-zombie but something that ultimately could happen without any traces of fantasy.

ETA: OK, so it's been over a week since I finished this book and I still can't get it out of my mind!

I received a copy of this for free via NetGalley for review purposes.
Profile Image for Jeann (Happy Indulgence) .
1,002 reviews3,257 followers
January 14, 2015
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

Fearless has an awesome premise, where soldiers injected with a serum cause them to lack empathy or fear and have therefore taken over the world. After loving ACID, a twisty standalone dystopian with a badass main character, I was looking forward to finding out what this one had in store.

Fearless wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. It starts off really strong, with Cass and her family running away from a super resilient Fearless soldier who invades their home. They escape to the man-made island of Hope, away from civilization. We see glimpses of the Fearless soldiers at the start, but this peters off soon after, causing more questions than answering them. Are the Fearless still themselves? Or are they some sort of human made zombie hybrid? This is inconsistent throughout the book, as we see both zombie-like Fearless and those that are more aware.

Cass is a really bland character who followed others into precarious situations without a second thought. When her brother gets abducted, she’s so desperate to save him that she follows a random trespasser off the island, which is forbidden by law. This gets her into lots of trouble, only to be saved by that dreaded romance. While the romance wasn’t a product of insta-love, I felt it was still bland with a lack of chemistry.

I didn’t mind Myo so much, he was more resourceful than Cass but we knew he had secrets through his point of view. Unfortunately, his secrets were quite predictable, and I felt there was something missing with the way the twists were delivered – without impact or much conviction.

The other point of view in the story is Sol, who is Cass’s childhood friend from Hope. From the beginning, you can see he’s a possessive prick who won’t stop bugging her and views her as his property. Disturbingly, Cass even considers the following to get him to help her:

For a second, I think about telling him that if he helps me, I’ll go out with him. - Cass

After Sol declares his love for Cass, he’s adamant that she should love him back. And when she doesn’t, here’s what he does:

For a second – just a second – I think about slamming a first into her face. Instead, I punch the climbing wall near her head, making her jump and gasp. Then, my knuckles throbbing, I turn and walk away. – Sol

That has unhealthy friendship written all over it.

Much of the novel is quite slow, with a lot of bland padding in it going from this place to there. It’s injected with quite a bit of action, but those slow parts in between are quite agonising. I wish there was a lot more here, more interesting characters, more thorough world building, and if nothing else, even a romance that I could ship, but everything was just so bland that I was bored throughout.

Fearless lacked conviction and a strong hook to form a connection with. I found myself bored at the characters, the constant travelling in the book, the lack of world building and the run of the mill romance. Even the twists and turns, which were excellent in ACID, were predictable. Being a standalone, the ending kind of drifts off, leaving you wondering what happened next.

Don’t let this put you off Emma Pass however, check out my review for ACID. At least the cover is cool, right?

Thank you to Random House Australia for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lynsey is Reading.
655 reviews228 followers
April 20, 2014
Is it a Dystopian? Is it a Post-Apocalyptic? Is it a Zombie novel?

Answer: yes!

Whatever you do, don't dismiss FEARLESS as "just another YA dystopian" to be added to the ginormous pile currently littering the shelves, thanks largely to people like Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins, with their massive successes and movie deals. Because although they are abundantly plentiful right now, many of them are only "okay", and some not even that. But I feel there are a few things that separate FEARLESS from the rest of the mush, and I'ma tell you what they are!

Thing one - it's set in the UK! Wahoo!

Call me biased about my own fair isle if you want, but I found it very refreshing and a real pleasure to be able to more easily imagine the basic scenery. But, that might not be a big selling point for most people reading this review, so for you guys I'll say it will be a chance for you to strengthen those imagination molecules a bit! Air them out, take them for a walk around the block and come and visit my side of the pond for a change! :)

Thing two - it's unpredictable and daring.

I was having wee flashbacks during parts of FEARLESS to a certain fantastic debut by another author you should know - Miss Susan Ee. Emma Pass, it seems, has a similar level of fearlessness (shnarf) when it comes to violence, gore and torturing her characters to within an inch of their sanity! Yay! I love a brave author. I love being shocked witless, and I love it when the stakes are so high I can't relax for a single second into thinking I can predict how the rest of the story will play out, because no one is safe under her pen. Don't you love it? Yah, me too!

Thing three - Cass!

As a main character, Cass was pretty fantastic. She is single-minded and steadfast throughout in her mission to retrieve her brother, and nothing - not growing romantic feelings or any other kind of testing loyalties - will stand in the way of her achieving that end. He is all that matters to her, the only family she has left, and I admired the heck out of her for that tenacity. Jori should count himself extremely lucky to have a big sis' like her!

Thing four - Myo!

Possibly my favourite thing about this book was the characterisation for Myo. He's a character that's introduced early on under a shroud of mystery, and getting to know him, particularly how different his life has been from Cass's on the island, and how he learned to cope, was completely compelling. As a potential love interest character, he is about as far from the stereotype for a YA "hero" as you can get. There is no alphanesss here, and he doesn't rely on a flawless hot bod to draw readers in, but that doesn't mean his character lacks strength. Or not to me, anyway. Strength can look different to different people, I suppose, but a survivor is a survivor no matter which way you cut it, and that sums up Myo's character perfectly. I loved him!

I haven't talked synopsis much - or, you know, at all - and it would be hard to do so without spoilers anyway, but I don't think I need to. The blurb tells you all you need to know about the scientifically screwed-over soldiers called the Fearless to get you started, and the rest I think you should experience for yourself.

A highly recommended 4 Stars! ★★★★
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
2,981 reviews362 followers
April 17, 2015
I am always up for a good dystopian and the more real feeling and believable the better. For some unknown reason, I like to be frightened with the what ifs of a good story that I can totally see happening in the future and the virus that is created and later altered, was just such an experience.

The Fearless are a frightening bunch. Soldiers that have no fear, no emotions, feel no pain, and will stop at nothing to get what they want. Super fast and super strong, with heightened senses and you truly have something that screams terrifying zombie!

With a strong start that is action packed and a world that you can truly imagine, this was a fun and unique read. A slower middle and an ending that will leave you with tons of questions, this was a good start to what promises to be an interesting series with a lot of potential.
Profile Image for Donna.
1,045 reviews559 followers
October 20, 2014
After reading British author's Emma Pass's debut novel ACID and enjoying it, I knew I wanted to read her next release. I love supporting British authors and I really enjoy stories being based in the UK.

The Fearless follows teenager Cass who has a happy life that until The Fearless - a powerful army powered by a serum that makes each soldier loses their emotions including all their fears, turning them into zombie like creatures not afraid of anything. Leaving the rest of the world in serious danger and The Fearless take over and turn as many citizens are possible to be like them.

Cass escaped with her life but lost her mother and father, leaving her to look after her new born brother while trying to make a new life on a small island. But when The Fearless break in and kidnap her brother, Cass knows she has to save him and she'll need all the help she can get. Cass do the impossible and find her brother before being turned in to the thing she hates most - The Fearless?

I enjoyed The Fearless and definitely more so than ACID. The Fearless was faster paced and more exciting, it had an good start to the story and pulled me in quite quickly, but at times I lost interest. I was trying to work out why I kept losing interest and while the story is good, I think it would have been better if it had been shorter. The one thing that saved this story was the alternative point's of view because I enjoyed getting in to all the characters heads. Had it of been just Cass's point of view, this may have been different outcome.

The characters were enjoyable and likeable all except one - Sol. He was a very rash and unpredictable character that was very annoying and quite dangerous. I did like Myo and Cass though and thought they made a great team once they got over their issues.

In all, The Fearless wasn't a fantastic story but it was one I certainly enjoyed and I'll definitely look for more by Emma Pass in the near future.

3.5 Stars!

Thank you to Corgi Children's for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,685 reviews1,266 followers
January 10, 2021
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Random House Children’s Publishers UK and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Cass lives on an island with her younger brother, one of only a few surviving humans to have not been ‘Altered’ – injected with a serum to make them ‘Fearless’.
When an unaltered stranger turns up on the island, and Cass’s younger brother is then kidnapped, Cass makes the decision to take off on her own to rescue him.
Can Cass save her brother before it’s too late? And are the people on the island really the only people left alive?

This was an okay story, but I lost interest.

Cass was an okay character, but I have to say that she annoyed me a bit. I got that her brother was her last living relative, and she was upset when he was kidnapped, but her plan to go off and rescue him was so rash it was a joke. Not only was she an idiot for going to the shudders to get a coat for a boy she didn’t even know, I couldn’t believe that she’d allow her 7-year-old brother to go with her, so for me she was kind-of asking for something to happen to him. Then when something did, she had a knee-jerk reaction of ‘must rescue him’, never considering that she would probably get herself killed in the process, and for some unknown reason decided to break a boy who she didn’t even know out of the prison, and take him with her. I mean really? Her actions and decisions were so immature and reckless it was ridiculous.

The storyline in this was okay, but I lost interest after the first 20%. Cass’s poor decision making skills, and immature behaviour made me dislike this book, and I couldn’t quite believe what was happening. The pace was pretty slow from then onwards, and I just got bored. I got to the point where I wasn’t even sure that I could be bothered to finish this, and had to force myself to keep reading.
The ending was okay~ish, but I was so bored that I had little idea of what was actually going on. I was just glad when it was over.
Overall; immature main character, and unbelievable storyline.
5.5 out of 10.
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,125 reviews459 followers
May 21, 2015
**I received this book for free from (Delacorte Books for Young Readers) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Genre* Young Adults, Post-Apocalyptic
*Rating* 3.0

*My Thoughts*

Seven years ago, scientists were paid by governments from around the world to came up with a drug to combat the effects of PTSD which affects a large group of returning soldiers. It worked really well. Perhaps too well since the soldiers taking the serum lost their ability to fear, or feel any sort of emotions.

Soon, however, things went to hell in a hand basket after the bad guys got hold of the serum, and started tweaking it. By tweaking the serum, they created a whole new breed of living called the Fearless, who tore through country after country without anyone being able to stop them. The Fearless are strong, quick, and can see in the dark. The last country to fall to the Fearless, was England where the story takes place.

*Full Review Posted 05/21/2015 @ Gizmos Reviews*


*Recvd 03/13/2015 via NetGalley* Published: April 14th 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Profile Image for Karen’s Library.
1,047 reviews159 followers
December 10, 2017
I always enjoy a good post-apocalyptic story, so when I received The Fearless from one of my besties in our Book Advent Calendar exchange, I flipped it open to see what it was about and got sucked right in.

The Fearless started off as soldiers who were injected with a serum to help them become stronger and faster, but one of the side effects is that they also become fearless. Another side effect is that they become extremely aggressive and inhuman and then try to convert everyone else into one of them.

Society disolves, and war breaks out between the remaining humans and The Fearless, which brings on an apocalypse. Cass is 10 when everything happens and manages to escape with a group to an island safe from The Fearless.

7 years later, her little brother is stolen by one of the Fearless and Cass leaves the safety of the island to find and rescue him.

I thought this was a unique take on a zombie-like tale and I breezed through it in a couple of days. I had not heard of Emma Pass before but enjoyed this enough to go check out her other book, Acid, which I downloaded immediately.

So happy my friends know exactly what books I will enjoy!
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,976 reviews584 followers
January 30, 2014
(I received a copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

Actual rating - 3.5

I liked Cass, she was really brave and selfless.
Leaving the island is a very risky thing to do, but when her brother got kidnapped by the fearless, she didn't hesitate to go after him.
She didn't think of the danger she was going to put herself through, she just thought of her brother.

The pacing in this could be quite slow at times, but luckily, it never stayed like that for long.
The little twists always pulled itself out the slow patches.

The last 10% was really good, and i'm really interested to see where it will go from there.

Overall, a good read.
I'll defiantly be reading the authors other book Acid, at some point.

Profile Image for Sláinte Wanderlust.
892 reviews387 followers
August 6, 2014
Actual rating - 3.5
Title & Cover - 4 out of 5
Favourite character - Cass

I enjoy dystopia a lot, in fact it is one of my favourite genres so I was excited to read this book. This is a good first book in a series, it contains enough information & world building so that I understood & could imagine the situation but not too much so that it bogged the story down. The pace of the story is pretty mixed, it held my attention throughout though. I liked most of the characters and enjoyed their interactions. I did not like the almost insta-love nor how easily cass trusted Myo, I did not feel it was believable as he did nothing to gain her trust. I would read more in this series as I am interested to discover what else happens & because I enjoyed the story.
I would recommend this book and read more by this author in the future.
Profile Image for Samantha (A Dream of Books).
1,132 reviews92 followers
July 23, 2014
'The Fearless' by British author Emma Pass is pretty much awesome from start to finish. I was in a bit of a reading slump until I picked up this book and it was just what I was looking for, a fast-paced story which led me on an exhilarating, terrifying and nail-biting journey. I haven't actually read Emma Pass's first book 'Acid' yet so I wasn't sure what to expect from her writing, but I loved it. The characters and the story concept were both brilliant and had me completely hooked.

I could definitely see the story transferring well to the big screen because everything was so well depicted and it had all the right ingredients to make anyone a fan of the series.

The plot is about a society which has been taken over by the Fearless - people who have been injected with a serum which takes away their emotions: fear, hate, love and their empathy for other human beings. Super strong and fast, they begin to destroy everything in their path, leading to families literally fleeing for their lives. The main character Cass lives on the island of Hope, where she and her younger brother Jori seek shelter from the horrors of the world. With her mother and father dead she is determined to protect Jori no matter the cost.

Packed full of suspense, the story hurtles along, hardly giving you time to breathe as Cass finds herself in some desperate and dangerous situations. I really, really enjoyed it and found myself unable to put it down. I was gripped by the adventure that unfolded but also liked the touches of romance and the strong bond between siblings that came across so well. It's nice to come across a British author who can more than hold her own with some of the most popular YA series in bookshops at the moment.

I'm extremely impatient to find out what lies in store next for Cass as the ending of the book signals more action still to come (I hope this isn't a stand-alone). I will definitely be along for the ride!
Profile Image for Emma Adams.
Author 77 books908 followers
June 30, 2014
I really enjoyed Emma Pass's debut novel ACID, so I was thrilled to be approved for an e-galley of The Fearless from Netgalley! This is a post-apocalyptic thriller with a scarily plausible premise - the Fearless are humans who've taken a serum to erase their fear, only for it to turn them into zombie-like monsters.

Cass lives on an island with a group of survivors, until one day they're attacked and her little brother is taken by the Fearless. She joins up with Myo, a stranger from the mainland (I love that this is set in the UK!) to rescue him, but Myo is hiding a secret. Cass is a likeable heroine. She makes mistakes and isn't perfect, but her determination to rescue her brother makes her someone to root for.

This is a fast-paced, action-packed read, and I was hooked from beginning to end. As the POV alternates between Cass, Sol and Myo, I kept turning pages to find out what would happen to each of them, and the story revealed twists I never saw coming!

The Fearless has great characterisation, romance and action - recommended to anyone looking for a fresh approach to YA post-apocalyptic!

Profile Image for Helen Grant.
Author 36 books168 followers
April 22, 2014
I loved this book - in fact I am going to blog about it in a few days' time as part of the Fearless blog tour. I agreed to read it for the blog tour knowing nothing about it at all - and totally fell in love with it. The heroine, Cass, is strong and brave and protective of her little brother Jori. The hero is (I can't say too much without a spoiler) half hot and half dangerous. Lots of exciting action and some heart rending moments. Seems to me there's room for a sequel here so I am praying for one...
Profile Image for Stephanie Ward.
1,175 reviews116 followers
April 23, 2015
'The Fearless' is a captivating young adult dystopian thriller that will have readers eagerly turning the pages to find out what will happen next. The story follows our leading lady - Cass - as she tries to live a normal-ish life with her younger brother Jori on Hope Island - an island that houses survivors of the Invasion. There's one major rule on the island: Nobody can leave and absolutely nobody can enter. Cass can remember the day of the Invasion like it was yesterday - not seven years ago. She remembers seeing the Fearless and the horrific things that they caused. So when the island's security is compromised and Jori is taken by the Fearless - Cass knows what she has to do. She has to leave the island to travel the unknown and horrifying world outside so she can find Jori and bring him back.

When I first read the description of this book, I was instantly intrigued. It sounded like a perfect blend of dystopia and thriller with an original plot. I haven't read any of the author's other works before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Happily, I wasn't disappointed in the least. The author does a great job creating a truly terrifying dystopian world where a drug that was supposed to help soldiers during and after serving has a severe side effect: most of the people who take it lose the ability to feel fear. The drug soon escaped the military's hands and was given to tons of people across the globe - infecting them with the same outcome - the loss of fear. I think the world the author created for the book is terrifying because, if you think about it, this could actually happen in our world today. Who knows what kind of drugs the military and government are working on? And a side effect of aggression that morphs into loss of fear is capable of occurring now. There's honestly nothing about how Cass's world came to be that isn't possible of happening to our society right now. That's a really scary thought. We see how fast the world disintegrates and falls into chaos - forcing people to hide in order to keep themselves and their families safe. Again - not very far-fetched, in my opinion. I loved learning how the drug came to be, how it changed from being a helpful medicine for soldiers into the dreadful poison that creates the Fearless, and how people live in a world so frightening.

Cass is a great main character for the book. She's ten years old when the Invasion happens, so she remembers what the world was like before the Fearless overtook it. She also remembers the horror of the Invasion itself - the panic it caused worldwide, all of the destruction that happened, and having to move to Hope Island to be safe. Because of this knowledge, Cass is a down to earth teenage girl who is incredibly protective of her little brother, Jori. She will do anything to keep him safe and out of harms way. She's always on her guard on the island, just in case something were to go wrong. She's a loving and kind person who will do whatever it takes to make things right or to fight for what she believes in. We see her character grow throughout the book as she goes to find Jori - she matures both mentally and physically in the outside world. By the end, Cass is a very different person from the one at the beginning of the book - having to fight to stay alive changes her in a lot of ways, not all of which are easy to see.

The plot was fascinating, just like the description promised. Like I mentioned above, the world that the author created freaked me out because it was so realistic and could actually happen. The story is fast paced with loads of action and lots of suspense. I found myself reading as fast as I could to see what was going to happen next. Cass's journey to find Jori was full of obstacles and problems that always seemed to get in her way. The Fearless were freaky and one of the best parts of the book. I think it's because of their grotesque behavior and odd appearance that had me so fascinated. It was like a wreck - it's gruesome and terrifying, but you just can't stop yourself from watching. The one thing I did notice was that some of the dialogue seemed choppy and didn't sound like a normal conversation. When I came across parts like this, it pulled me out of the story a bit, which then took a little while for me to get immersed into the novel again. This is solely my opinion and I'm sure that other readers had no issues with it. For me though, it broke the trance-like state that a good book can put you in several times and each time I had to get myself back into that mindset. If the dialogue was more natural and flowed easily, I would have given the book a higher rating. Overall, this was a solid YA dystopian thriller that fans of both genres will enjoy, along with those who like suspense, action, and science fiction. It's a great book for anyone to read and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Gabs .
484 reviews74 followers
May 24, 2015
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Fearless starts off amazingly. I was hooked; There was about one page WITHOUT action, and then all hell broke loose and it was heartpoundingly suspenseful. I loved that it started off by showing exactly HOW the apocalypse started, rather than beginning afterwards and giving an infodump of information. I was sure that this was going to be one of my favorite dystopian of 2015.

And then...things happened.

First off, there was a huge time jump. And apparently, the time that got skipped over was extremely detrimental to the little children that I had originally met in the first chapter of this book, because now one was kinda boring in a Mary-sueish way, and the other was a total dousche with abusive tendencies.

Let's start with Cass. Like I said, she became a bit of a Mary Sue. While I thought the bond she had with her brother was nice...it did remind me a bit of Prim and Katniss. In fact, there were a lot of things in this book that seemed very similar to other dystopian novels, but I'll have to touch on that later. In addition to that relationship, she and Myo get rather insta-lovey with each other; she's having feelings for him when she barely knows him, and trusts him rather foolishly at times. I was surprised at how easily she believed him at the beginning, especially with how she'd been trained where she lived.

Myo actually wasn't that bad of a character. He was kind and mysterious, and while I didn't love him, I really had no complaints about him. The one complaint I have was that it was so easy to see what his 'secret' was. There were so many hints towards it.

Sol is where I get angry. He is SUCH a major dousche. He's entitled, spoiled, and sociopathic. Plus, he has some weird obsession with Cass. He thinks he loves her. Which is just so hard to understand when there are passages like this in the book:

For a second--just a second--I think about slamming a fist into her (Cassie's) face.


Yeah, I get it; Sol is not supposed to be likeable. He's supposed to be that twisted character that you love to hate. The thing is, I don't want to have to read from his POV about his weird Cass addiction. It's just not okay.

There were also a lot of things that I thought were borrowed from other dystopian novels, and it just didn't feel wholly original to me. The apocalyptic disease has been done before. The sibling bond has definitely been done before. And the insta-love relationship has MOST definitely been done before, in dystopian and otherwise. There are other, smaller examples as well, though I read this long enough ago and forgot to write them down that I am having a hard time remembering exactly what they were at the moment.

However, there were some original parts that were really different and enjoyable. Myo and Mara's dynamic was definitely unique; I liked the dilemma that this posed throughout the story.

I did find some good in this book, though most likely not enough to continue with the story. (If there is a continuation, though it is not mentioned on Goodreads.) I think I've gotten to the point where I'm beginning to get sick of Dystopian, and that may have contributed to some of my dislike to this book. It's definitely not the worst of its genre, it just kind of felt like a rehash at this point, and that was something I'm not in the mood for.
Profile Image for Jessica Reigle.
541 reviews29 followers
January 18, 2016
Review posted at Step Into Fiction

This book sounded like it was going to be awesome. The premise was promising and it started off really strong. I really enjoyed the characters and the world that Emma Pass created but as soon as you introduced me to the new mysterious guy on the island Hope, my feelings for the book definitely changed. I didn't hate the book, so don't think that - there was a lot about it that I enjoyed but I'm going to be honest about YA books as of late. I'm getting really tired and annoyed of the whole 'best friend is in love with the heroine, heroine doesn't feel the same way but is too chicken to really admit it then you insert this hot, mysterious guy and there's that sudden interest from the heroine. Best friend is pining after heroine and just becomes pathetic.' situations. It's becoming so common in YA books that I literally groan once said second guy is introduced. Why can't they ever fall in love with the best friend? Why?! Do you know how much more realistic that is then some good looking, random guy?

So I guess it's not really against the author except for the fact that she went the normal YA route but I would've preferred the story with no romance than what was given in this. It definitely took away from everything. If the focus would've been solely on sibling relationships, because there's two of them in here, I would've enjoyed everything a lot more. And speaking of sibling relationships, I really enjoyed Jori and Cass. They had such a strong bond that goes beyond just brother and sister but it could be because she basically raised him. She's not only his sister but his mother figure, as well. That changes a relationship and it showed.

I really loved Sol for about half the book or maybe even a little more. He changed too much from the beginning of the book until the end. But he's the best friend who I was rooting for in the beginning. And even when they grew up together and really, he was the one I was always rooting for, which, is the story of my life. I always tend to lean toward the best friend characters and I know I'm always going to get screwed. I should be used to this but it gets me every time.

The premise of the book is fascinating. The fact that scientists create this serum to help soldiers with not only Posttraumatic Stress Disorder but also to help feel less fear when on the battle grounds. I can only imagine how tough it must be for a lot of people to kill the enemy. I know it's a kill or be killed or be killed situation but I can't imagine that makes it any easier. But this serum does the trick. The problem is, things went wrong with it. As it always does. They created fearless monster who basically couldn't feel any emotions and just killed. It was a scary, gruesome world. I loved this because it seems very realistic.

Overall, the book was enjoyable. It had so much potential but I really think the romance aspect brought it down for me. A lot. If you love a good post-apocolyptic read, I think you'd enjoy this a lot.

Thank you so much to Random House for allowing me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Joy (joyous reads).
1,460 reviews290 followers
April 22, 2015
The Side Effects of the Cure

In an effort to aid war-weary soldiers afflicted with PTSD, scientists have developed a serum to curtail, and eliminate this psychological disorder. But like every other miracle drug that’s ever been invented, the cure brought on a different kind of disease. The soldiers lost their abilities to feel. They became stronger; they healed faster. They became harder to kill. When the serum was sold to the highest bidder, the drug was reinvented; ushering a new breed of soldiers who lost all sense of right and wrong. Everyone became their enemy. Like a rabid pack of zombies, they invaded countries and bludgeoned the population into submission.

Hope Island

A small pocket of survivors managed to have a semblance of life in Hope Island. They have their own government and security. They live on goods bartered or traded by salvagers from the mainland. But all that security crumbled when a boy snuck in one night under the pretence of getting help for his friend’s baby.

Cass’s brother, and the only family she has, was taken by Fearless. The trespasser claimed he could help her find him, if she could help him get back to the mainland. Cass didn’t have any choice, because once you leave Hope Island, you can never go back. And since no one would help her get her brother back, he’s the only ally she could turn to.

The Goods

This book is pretty much everything you would expect from a dystopian thriller. It has a frenetic beginning where you’ll witness the beginning of the end of civilization. Then it hurtles on its steady pace right through the end. The world building is almost non-existent. I think it’s one of those things when a reader already knows what they’re in for even before they crack the spine. It’s there on the cover, and in the synopsis. In other words, the author left everything to the reader’s imagination. She didn’t have to hold my hand, or tell me how I should feel. Because her characters were very affective – except for the romance bit (more on that later).

Cass, for the most part, was a character full of moxie. When the world ended, she witnessed her dad get killed by the Fearless. Her mother was pregnant at the time. Unable to handle losing her husband, and the state of the world as she knew it, Cass’ mother killed herself. Ever since then, she was left playing the mother to her younger brother. He was all that was left of her world. She was fierce and courageous.

The Not-So

The only thing that didn’t work for me here is the romance. It wasn’t a case of instant love, but more the relationship didn’t progress in a realistic fashion. There was no basis for the attraction, no foundation. I supposed there wasn’t a spark between them either.

I was under the impression that this was a stand alone. But after that ending, it would be cruel not to continue. There’s so much to look forward to after this book, and I, for one, am really hoping a companion is already in the works.
Profile Image for R.J..
Author 4 books55 followers
October 21, 2019
“When I was ten, the world ended.” –The Fearless.

What started out as a miracle drug to save soldiers from PTSD, quickly spiraled out of control creating emotionless and fearless humans who only desire one thing: to give everyone the same drug.

In this quick paced, post-apocalyptic book, we are taken on a crazy ride from page one and not given a moment’s rest until the last page. It’s full of twists and turns and a storyline that is sure to grab the interest of anyone.

I really loved getting to know Cass and Myo. They are both broken people who willingly give up everything for the people they love, and they made quite the duo! Cass is compassionate, quick-witted, brave, and protective. You’re definitely not going to find her playing the role of damsel in distress! Myo is easily loveable. He has a big heart, intelligent mind, and once he knows he can trust someone, he’d do anything for them.

All of the characters in The Fearless were perfectly developed. They all had their struggles, their strengths, their desires, and their fears. So much of the story rode on the characters alone, so I was impressed to see so many woven together in such a neat way.

As for the storyline, it was intense and nerve-wrecking in some places! There is a lot of violence, but not a whole lot of gore (there is some, but not overly so), and the tension can border along the horrific in some scenes. I did find some aspects of the storyline to be slightly predictable and I wasn’t totally impressed with the ending, but overall, I never grew bored of the story and really enjoyed reading The Fearless!

I give 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to fans of The Maze Runner and Divergent-like books!

There is some mild, PG-13 rated cursing. No sex scenes, only a few briefly described kisses. The violence is decently high and the gore is more strongly present in some scenes than others, but overall, I would say it never goes over a PG-13 rated action movie. Trigger warning to look out for are suicide and abuse.

I received this book from NetGalley for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

This is a LiteratureApproved.com Review.
Profile Image for Emma .
2,506 reviews351 followers
October 21, 2014
Review by Cerys - Year 7 (14/15)

The Fearless is a great book about an injection which causes you to feel no fear. Unfortunately, you feel no emotions whatsoever. Soon things get out of hand and everyone affected by the injection comes together to form a massive army, The Fearless. Together they invade the country. Cass (A young girl at the time of the invasion) and her family move to Hope Island. Move forward seven years, Cass's brother gets taken by The Fearless, and Cass goes on an epic adventure to find him.

Cass needs to find her brother before he can be 'altered'. My favorite character was Cass because she's a strong, brave character with a passion. My favorite part of the story involved the creation of the injection and Cass's best friend Sol. I really liked the way the emotions were portrayed. I also really enjoyed Cass and Myo's relationship although I do think it could have been developed further.

The story is told from the point of view of Cass, Myo, and Sol, each in turn allowing the reader to see the feelings of each important character in turn. I thought the plot was very believable. the scene was set early within the book, a lot of detail within the descriptions allowed for me to identify with Hope Island. A map of each main place was included in the book to aid understanding of where the characters were. The author explained the situations in detail and all the loose ends were tied up at the end. I really liked the message within the story, even when things seem out of control all hope is not lost.

I would certainly recommend Emma Pass's books as she has a great writing style. You can feel the emotions of all the characters, the fuse of first person narrative aids the empathy you feel for each of them. I loved this book!
Profile Image for Kirsti.
2,456 reviews82 followers
May 19, 2014
Excellent! I love well written YA dystopian novels. Sometimes it's worth wading through all the bad books just to get one like this. World building, rounded characters, a strong female lead who although also a romantic figure, never gives up on her younger brother. At all times she thinks of him, worries for him, and doesn't sway from her mission.

I loved the start of this book. I am utterly terrified of zombies, and although the Fearless aren't quite the same, the idea is there. A drug meant to help soldiers face fear has mutated into a crazed strain. Those infected want to infect others, and basically torture any remaining humans. Cass is young and clueless; her parents hide the papers from her. But one night everything changes.

I won't go into it more, because it gives away key plot points. I loved the characters growing from this first chapter, especially Cass and Sol. I liked the romance, predictable as it was, because it was understated and believable. I just liked this book as a whole, and can't wait to read the next! I really need for this to become one of the few series that I read before I forget what happened in the first!

Five stars, bloody brilliant. Can't recommend highly enough!
Profile Image for Luna.
1,380 reviews189 followers
June 24, 2014
The Fearless is certainly a gripping read. The book begins with a young Cass witnessing her father being attacked and Altered as they try to escape The Fearless. It’s the night her little brother Jori is born, fast forward a few years and Cass is living Hope Island. Cut from the mainland they exist in relative peace until Jori is snatched by the Fearless and Cass goes after him.

The book is narrated by Cass, Sol (Cass’s childhood friend) and Myo. Most of the narration is by Cass so she is the character I felt closes to, but I liked Myo from the beginning. The different viewpoints work well within the story.

Cass is a strong character and the relationship between her and Myo works. It’s tested, tested again and let’s throw a few more things in there for good measure. Reading The Fearless was never boring, I finished the book in one sitting because I had to know how it ended.

The Fearless will have your attention from the very first page and you won’t want to put it down.
Profile Image for Anna.
585 reviews42 followers
February 15, 2015
A great YA dystopian novel. Strong characterisation, high tension and a well paced plot. I was expecting a Divergent copy so I was pleasantly surprised with this offering from Emma Pass. Although there is a romantic sub plot, the focus is on the narrative: the initial survival sequence is tense and convincingly brutal - the later rescue sequence well paced with some very strong set pieces. The Altered and the Magpies are well drawn, and I liked the idea of transition and mutation within the Altered/Fearless.

Carnegie longlist 2015 Under 14 read with caution: threat and violence
Profile Image for Kate Ormand.
Author 8 books277 followers
September 4, 2017
The Fearless is a fast-growing army of super soldiers who feel no compassion, no fear, and are rapidly infecting the world’s population with an enhanced version of the serum that caused the outbreak. Years after the invasion, the only family Cass has left is her younger brother, Jori, and they live together with a small, organised community on Hope Island. But when an outsider is caught by the patrol, and Jori is kidnapped by the Fearless, everything in Cass’s life changes. She has no choice but to set out into dangerous territory, leaving Hope for the first time in seven years, and risk everything to find her brother.

This was thrilling, creepy, and very dark. It has the feel of a good zombie novel even though the Fearless aren’t zombies—they can run, they can heal, they can speak, and they have a very real purpose and it’s chilling! I actually loved this more than ACID - brilliant.
Profile Image for Jess.
Author 5 books90 followers
May 29, 2014
*I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Random House Children’s Publishers UK and Emma Pass*

For seven years Cass has lived on Hope island ever since The Fearless stormed through the country. The Fearless were born from a cure for post-tramatic stress that stopped fear and got into enemy hands.
Cass only has her brother left and when he is taken by the Fearless she will risk everything to get him back.

It took me a while to get into this and to start with I found Cass annoying. I really didn't like the love triangle. There were things that I saw coming and things that I didn't. I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would.

Overall this only just gets three stars as I found it slightly disappointing.
Profile Image for Bee.
177 reviews3 followers
March 15, 2014
Quite a fresh take on the whole "zombie-apocalypse". Technically, the Fearless aren't zombies, they're only infected and go mental, but it's the same difference. The plot is interesting and I love the fact that it tries to incorporate more info than just the main character's voices, such as manifestos, maps, flyers, etc. You see this more often in adult horror books (for example Justin Cronin's The Passage). It was actually really well written for a teen novel (although it is still a YA novel, so don't expect amazing prose or anything). The only downside was the whole love-angle. Normally I like the romance in YA books and I would be the last person to complain about it, but in this novel it was a tiny bit overdone. Keep it on the downlow people!

Still, I really enjoyed this book!
Profile Image for Robin Stevens.
Author 49 books2,058 followers
May 4, 2014
Emma Pass is so good at creating post-apocalyptic worlds that are genuinely interesting and quite different to the rest of what's out there in an admittedly very crowded genre. The Fearless gives a very different take on the done-to-death zombie takeover plot - one I really haven't seen before. I really enjoy Emma's stories, and I totally approve of the thought she puts into them. And I'd really like a Lochie of my own. Great stuff.
Profile Image for Kendra.
Author 1 book49 followers
October 30, 2014
The adrenaline-filled first few chapters had me hooked, and the rest of The Fearless proved just as fun. A unique concept done well. Especially loved Lochie — I'm sure he'll be a lot of readers' favourite character!
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