I love this futuristic cover and how the colors are used. Each time there was a "port" word or paragraph related, I went back and stared at this cover, trying to imagine exactly how it looked like and what they were talking about :).
This is my number one favorite dystopian book of all times and of 2012 especially.
From chapter one, I knew I was going to love it.
First of all, the whole story here is set in a future underworld called the Community because the Surface (or as they call it the "Old World") has been demolished by nuclear war.
People in the Community, who are called Subjects, aren't just normal people, they don't feel anything. They have V chips in their brains which keep them from feeling anything but pain to prevent Wars and cruel works within the human race. There is also the Link, which is a sort of connection that keeps the people in the community always connected to the main Community Systems. So they're always monitored and information are always playing on their vision and in their minds. They're basically humans turned into robots.
However, Zoel, the main character in this book, is a Community Subject who starts glitching. Meaning, sometimes she becomes no longer connected to the Link, therefore, she can think, feel and sense everything around her in color.
She struggles to live in the Community with her glitches becoming more insistent and random, because if she acts anomalously and gets caught by any other Subject, Monitor or Regulator (police officer in our terms), she'll be either reprogrammed which means she'll never be able to feel anything or have her thoughts in her mind again, or she'll be deactivated, which the equivalent to killed in our world.
Throughout the book, we find Zoel discovering the truths about the Old World that the Community kept hidden in order to prevent Subjects from ever thinking of escaping or going to the Surface.
Also, she meets new people whom later have helped her, betrayed her and fallen in love with her. And gets introduced to the Resistance (a.k.a the Rez as Adrien calls it) and becomes their newest hope.
Towards the ending, Zoel becomes stronger, determined on helping everyone and most of all free and hopeful of a better future.
What I loved:
- The world Heather has created is unique and full of surprises. You can't predict anything because you'll be surprised at what happens next each time.
- The writing was smooth and clear.
- The story itself was well paced and everything happened when and where it should have.
- The characters were realistic and mysterious. You could never trust any of them. They all had secrets and lied about something or have been lied to.
- This book had romance. And I don't like romance at all but I loved this romance. It wasn't rushed, pushed nor delayed. It came naturally. Even the small time when there was a love triangle, it wasn't like the usual ones, like I thought, it was a good and honest one. And I think Heather did a great job with it :).
- There were a lot of intense moment in this book in terms of action, expectations, hopes, fear, terror and discovery.
- The twists in this book were priceless. I had my head spinning each time I found one and didn't predict it! It doesn't happen a lot to me. So this book kept me double checking my theories and facts each time there was something suspicious.
- The ending. It wasn't like a cliffhanger or anything. It ended peacefully, if I might add. It just left me with tons of unanswered questions and speculations. I was dying to read the sequel and then remembered that this book is not even out yet!
What I disliked:
Maybe the way Zoel sounded a little dump at the end for the tiniest moment?
But it didn't affect me at all.
Subject Zoel Q-24 (a.k.a Zoe): The protagonist in this story. From the very first chapter, I liked her. She's strong willed, friendly, kind, determined and very trust worthy. And most importantly, she loves her family and wishes that one day they'll love her back. She goes thru a lot of difficulties in this book most of them which are emotional ones, since she's never felt anything and doesn't even have names for what she feels. Also because she has a Gift, the gift of moving things with her mind that is called Telekinesis which she can't control, at all. At the four last chapters, I could clearly see her leader instincts kick in, especially in the 23rd chapter. She was amazing!
Adrien: You might wonder why I haven't written Subject in his name, well, because he's somehow not one. He's been a member of the Rez since he was born. He meets Zoe in the first quarter of the book but because she had a hardware attached to her (not going to spoil anymore details!) she couldn't remember him later. She didn't need to. He earned her trust all over again by himself. He fights for what he believes in and he's very dedicated to his job. He's also trust worthy and a very good friend. At the end, it becomes unclear whether Adrien is on the good or bad side but later we find out (and so does Zoe a little behind...). His Gift is the ability to have glimpses of the future, especially when there's danger looming closely.
Subject Maximin (a.k.a Max): Okay. So, to be honest and clear, he is my very least favorite character in the book. Anyways, he's in the same class with Zoe and she always gave him extra lessons. Until she found out he was a glitcher too. Not that this was an enough surprise, but he also showed in so many direct body languages that he "wanted" her. I have nothing good to support Mr. Max, he has almost always a bad temper, he hates everyone and loves only Zoe. He doesn't care about her hopes and wishes to help other glitchers, and sometimes even hurts her with his words. Hmmm, yep, I hate him a lot! His ability obviously fulfills his needs, and is very suitable for him actually, he can impersonate anyone with his Gift.
Other character worth mentioning is: Molla, another glitcher who can see thru things like walls or even a body. She develops a crush on Max and has an unfortunate accident. But don't worry, she lives.
When I have a favorite books which I adored and memorized every sentence and expression in it, it's hard to pick favorite quotes. Because I just loved it all!
But here are three that should help you choose to read the book :).
The retina display flickered into view and scrolled a chatter of data at the edges of my field of vision. Auditory inputs clicked back online too, a slight hum in the background. One by one, each of my senses dimmed, replacing my connection to the physical world with the connection to the Link. In a blink, the small bit of color in my room seeped away to a monotone gray. --- Chapter 1.
A smile played at the edges of his lips. "You wanna join the Rez?"
"Of course! What else would I do once we escaped? I want to help Molla. And I want to stop the . . . the . . ." I threw my hands up in the air. "I don't even have a word bad enough for the Uppers who've done this to us."
"Godlam'd shunting bastards is my name of choice."
I laughed a little. "Okay." --- Chapter 15.
Molla stiffened beside me.
"Regulators," she whispered, terror making her body start shaking again. She grabbed Max's arm, I wasn't sure if it was to steady herself or shield him.
"Where?" Adrien said, looking around in confusion.
"Twelve of them on the other side of the door up there," she said. "They're waiting for us."
"Cracking hell," Adrien and I said at the same time. --- Chapter 22.
This book is totally my favorite dystopian book by far. And it would take a lot of another book to change that. Maybe after all, I should check out Divergent?!
While reading this book I remembered one of my favorite movies of all time, Equilibrium with Christian Bale, I just think they have the same concept which made easier for me to understand and imagine what was going on :).
This book is a must read for any dystopian fans who'd like to be amazed and fall in love with a real good book.show more