Ann's Reviews > The First

The First by Katherine Applegate
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it was ok
bookshelves: young-adult

Actually more like 2.5 stars. Not as good as the first book. Still enjoyable, but missing the novelty of the first book, and replaced instead with lots of introspection about the nature of fear, courage, and leadership....and those parts read like a teacher's lecture. I didn't enjoy them, and doubt my students would.

I'm also seriously bothered by the plot loophole that I shared after reading Book #1. So much hinges on the honesty of this species of animal--and their ability to detect lies in others--but the animals themselves are capable of lying and the main character does indeed lie to protect herself and her friends. I cannot imagine that no one else in this world has ever questioned this. It's like having an entire world founded on a belief that if you negotiate in front of a lie detector, you can be assured that the lie detector will keep everyone in the room honest.....but all along, the lie detector can itself give false information about whether others are lying. No one in this world doubts the lie detector species, and the lie detector species has, for the most part, remained honest....but they are not always honest.

This book also touches on the nature of war, and when war is justified, and examines the idea of collateral damage. All interesting ideas that would be good for a classroom discussion, but like the whole fear/courage question, the voice rang false to me as I read these parts. I felt like I was reading a scripted lesson plan instead of a fantasy novel.

There's still another book in this series, so I'm going to maintain my hope that some of these things get resolved in the next book.....but if they don't, I'm going to be pretty disappointed by the whole series.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 11, 2019 – Shelved
July 11, 2019 – Shelved as: young-adult
July 11, 2019 – Finished Reading

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