My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Content warnings: Rape, sexual assault, death, murder, slavery, classism
I have a LOT of feelings about this book. It is by far, the BEST dystopian type novel I’ve read since Battle Royale (of which, The Hunger Games is kind of a derivative of).
I’m going to do something a little different than normal though. Instead of just raving about my love for it, I’m going to talk about the content warnings. Because they’re very important to talk about. In fact, do me a favour and go read fangirljeanne’s review of this book first and then come back to this.
So, the sexual assault and rape is NOT first hand experienced in this book. BUT, the way it’s presented is so NOT the way most books I’ve read that have either in them are presented. In fact, in this angle, it’s like a breath of fresh air. It’s not a plot device first off. If you took it out the story wouldn’t read the same. Whereas if it were a plot device you could take it out and replace it with something less horrifying and the story wouldn’t change. This one would definitely change. No doubt about it.
So yeah. It’s handled in a real way. It feels real. The after effects feel real. And oh the vindication. Anyone who wants to read how to do a rape scene right so you aren’t trivializing it to survivors. READ THIS BOOK.
Other things I enjoyed highly:
NO TRINITY SYNDROME. Dear gods I’m so glad of this. The female main character I started off not really liking but in the end wound up liking her a lot. I mean yeah, the male learns from a female character but the reasons she can’t be the one to go in his place have to do with her place in the world.
We have a disabled character. Who is clearly shown as disabled. But he doesn’t let his disability slow him down. AND people actually respect him despite it. Especially with how disabilities tend to be looked down on in this world. They respect him and follow him. It’s great.
The main male lead. I’m honestly kind of sick of reading male main characters in general. But I enjoyed this one. Because he got to see first hand the injustices the ruling class did and he’s actually determined to right wrongs.
This is the literal definition of what a dystopian novel should be. It shows why utopian societies are anything but. It definitely did not end up on a really happy ending. I mean it was a decent ending and I’m damned excited to read the next book. But I wouldn’t call it happily ever after. Not by a long shot. There’s some romance but it’s not over the top so it’s manageable.
All in all, GO READ THIS BOOK.
Buy it here: