3.41 (7,865 ratings by Goodreads)
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The first book in a breathtaking new series from Beautiful Creatures co-author Margaret Stohl

Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside - safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.

She's different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.

Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions - which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses - may actually be their greatest strengths.

Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts - in order to save the future.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 27mm | 310g
  • HarperCollins
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0007520832
  • 9780007520831
  • 214,973

Review quote

'Epic in scale and exquisite in detail - a haunting, futuristic fable of loss and love' Ally Condie, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Matched Trilogy

'Fans of Stohl's Beautiful Creatures series will find many of the same elements here - paranormal romance, a fast pace, and intriguing characters - but within a distinctly science-fiction setting. The strong messages of questioning authority, daring to resist injustice, and loyalty to one's group will resonate with teens who loved The Hunger Games' Booklist

'I love this book. It's raw and riveting, a scorched-Earth future vision that feels frighteningly real. It's full of passion and deep truths and the kind of power that people only find when they're driven far, far past their limits' Lev Grossman, New York Times bestselling author of The Magicians
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About Margaret Stohl

Margaret Stohl is a lifelong science fiction fan, former video game designer, and co-author of the New York Times bestselling Beautiful Creatures series. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her family.
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Rating details

7,865 ratings
3.41 out of 5 stars
5 20% (1,603)
4 28% (2,165)
3 31% (2,457)
2 14% (1,139)
1 6% (501)

Our customer reviews

2.5 stars Icons is exactly the sort of book that is just a little too late. Despite its flaws (and believe me, there are several), there is enough basic potential for the concepts here to excite and demand attention. Unfortunately for Icons (and Margaret Stohl, given that this is her first venture as a solo author), there are already several other far better books out there that deal with similar ideas. We're talking aliens, and yes, I did read this after Rick Yancey's The Fifth Wave. Icons, however, is a book that has more of a dystopian feel to it than one that screams alien-invasion (though I use the term very lightly). Set years after The Day, where a large number of the world's population dropped dead following the appearance of thirteen structures known as Icons, we follow Dol and her best friend Ro as they find themselves captured and held as prisoners at the Embassy. It's here where they meet Tima and Lucas, fellow Icon children, and it's here where the story takes a plummet into monotonous territory and struggles to resurface. There are moments of promise scattered throughout - mostly in the form of some much-needed scenes of action, a strange computer with a fondness for jokes, and a distractingly amusing Merk named Fortis - but the vast majority of the story is difficult to really appreciate. Although the world-building is clear enough (for the first instalment, at least), and nicely consolidated by rhymes, correspondence and official documents inserted at the beginning and end of chapters, the so-called Icon children completely destroy any possibility of wholly investing in this book. The group dynamics here are borderline ridiculous. Dol is not an unlikeable main character (well... not exactly), but a lot of her thoughts and actions are eye-roll inducing. There is a slight love triangle present (of course), and while the romance does not at all overshadow the plot, Dol's attraction to both Ro and Lucas is somewhat exasperating. As expected, Ro and Lucas aren't overly fond of each other, and Tima, who has feelings for Lucas, is not exactly Dol's biggest fan to start with. It's all very pointless and tiring... and hardly adds any substance to their already disappointingly thin personalities. One thing that did stir my interest here is the shadowing presence of the Lords. Unfortunately, though, this is one area that is still shrouded in a lot of mystery. Other than the hold that the Lords have over the inhabitants of Earth, we find out an insufficient amount about them, much to my disappointment. Icons opts for the least stimulating route in the end, with very little being introduced that could potentially set it apart. It doesn't help that the only two interesting characters are a bodiless computer and a quick-mouthed swindler. The annoying part is that Stohl's writing is not poor. This book could have been far more exciting if it was less formulaic and stiff. Maybe then the main characters would have had more of an opportunity to shine, too. This has turned into a very half-hearted review, which is generally the case when a story fails to draw much of a response from me. Icons is 'meh' to the umpteenth degree, and I'll leave it at that.show more
by Sam
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction/Blue Door, Voyager and Netgalley.) 16 years ago, 13 strange metallic 'Icon's' dropped from the sky, and situated themselves in the largely populated areas of the world, killing millions of people, and turning others into slaves. 17-year-old's Dol and Ro live in the wilds outside of one of these epicentres, away from the Embassy and the 'Sympas' (sympathisers who have become traitors to humanity). Dol and Ro are special though, on Dol's wrist is a small blue dot, and on Ro's wrist are two red dots, which can be connected. When Dol's adopted family are killed and she is kidnapped, Ro follows her and tries to rescue her, only to find themselves both captured. What they are about to realise though is that they are not the only ones with these special dots. What do the dots mean? How many people have them? How are they linked to the Icons? And can Dol and Ro really change things for the better? This was an okay story, but I have so many questions at the end of it that it might just drive me crazy! Dol and Ro were both okay characters, although Ro had serious anger management issues. I think that this was to do the whole 'icon child'(dots) thing, but even so, his temper was pretty fierce. I didn't really feel anything for Dol at all, she was a bit boring if anything. The other two Icon children that we met were Lucas and Tima. I liked Lucas at first, then I didn't like him, and I didn't really like Tima at all. The group dynamics were just difficult, and someone always seemed to be irritating someone else, and Ro's temper and Tima's jealousy and bitterness did not help matters. The four 'Icon children' had these dots on their wrists, but I didn't really understand the point of them - they did this weird thing they called 'bonding' where they held their wrists together, dot-to-dot, and this was a really intimate thing to do -almost like sex!! I'm not sure why they did this, other than it being something to do with emotions - Dol did it to calm Ro, or how they figured out that they could do this. I didn't really understand why there were 'Icon children' at all, and why were there only 4 icon children when there were 13 icons? Baffling. We also got the obligatory love triangle/square. Dol mentions about loving Ro, but isn't sure if they can go from being best friends to being something more, never mind that they do this bonding thing with their dots. But then she's off with Lucas, and he is trying to get her to bind dots with him (Gosh that sounds ridiculous!). Then we have Tima who is obviously in love with Lucas, and so not happy that him and Dol want to bump dots, and Ro who obviously loves Dol, and wants her to only want his dots (sorry, the dots thing amuses me, I wonder if Lucas' dots are better than Ro's as Lucas has 3 and Ro only has 2?). I have to say that my biggest complaint with this book was the world building. I didn't understand why the Icon's had arrived or who really caused their arrival, I didn't really understand why some people died and some didn't, I didn't get why Dol and Ro were living out in the middle of nowhere and how this was even possible. I didn't really understand who was in charge, and why, who the 'Lords' were (think they might have been the aliens)...this list goes on, and on. I'm confused to say the least. Thankfully the book did have an end. The four Icon children did achieve something after all this, although it was very much the start of the revolution rather than the end. I suspect though that all four icon children will not survive this entire series, I just hope that we don't take on one icon per book, because that would be a very lengthy series, and I really just want some answers! Overall; a confusing and sometimes bizarre dystopian novel, which raises more questions than it answers. 6.5 out of 10.show more
by Sarah Elizabeth
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