Review: I got this book shortly after it had come out, and sadly (like most impulse buys) got lost in my ever growing to be read pile. I did try to start it last year, hence being on my ‘currently reading’ for so long, but set it down and didn’t have the motivation to pick it up again (but granted, for a good few months I didn’t have any motivation to pick up any book or attempt to finish the ones I started). And then randomly, decided to pick it up and power through, and finished this book in the past few days.
The story is about a young teen, Kira, growing up in where over 99% of the human population has been devastated by a virus, believed to be caused by the ‘Partials’, robotic/human hybrids. Probably closer to BSG’s human cylons than say TNG’s Data android. And very much like BSG where the creations turn on the creators. She doesn’t remember much from the world before, being just a toddler at the time, and she devotes her life to try and save babies. Yes, babies, because the virus that was unleashed has made the population virtually sterile, with babies dying from the disease within days of being born. But that’s not the only pressing issue, the other being the Hope Act, which makes it mandatory for women of age (currently 18) to get pregnant and produce as many babies as possible as a way to hopefully circumvent the virus and ensure the human population lives on.
While the book starts out relatively dramatic, and for me at least, sucked me in the first few pages, it does veer from any more ‘action’ for a while, with the book feeling for a moment, slice of life. That’s when I had put it down and taken a while to pick back up. It was a little sluggish to get back into it, but all the characters had a unique voice and personality and they grabbed me. The author did a pretty good job of worldbuilding and characterization, and doing it in a way where we don’t learn everything at once, just hints here and there.
I had surmised early on what the ‘big reveal’ would be, but it still surprised me when it came, since it wasn’t done, I thought at least, in the cliche’d or obvious way. The pacing overall, is a bit uneven, but is helped with time jumps, only getting us to see the important bits, along with more of the ‘slice of life’ stuff cause it is integral to the whole story. As this was all written in Kira’s point of view, we see the twists and turns when it’s revealed to her or when she finally figures it out. I was certainly hooked by the middle of it, not putting it down till early this morning so I could sleep and then waking up to finish it off, making me want to get the next in the series as soon as possible. There is a barely there romance, between Kira and Marcus, but it isn’t at least in Kira’s eyes, a huge focus, beyond Kira just wanting to have that connection with her best friend.
While I do give this book five stars, it wasn’t exactly perfect. The author glosses over the whole Hope Act and the real repercussions it would have on the girls. There’s some hints, and it’s ever present in Kira and her other friend, Xochi’s minds, but it should’ve been a little more focused I think. Also, the decidedly lack of diversity when it came to LGBT and how that would have affected people, though what I do like was nearly everyone was a person of color, or at least implied, and no one was a caricature. Though, I did forget a lot of times how young some of the characters were and they didn’t quite feel like that age, though of course they grew up in a different environment. The politics were slightly confusing between the government and the rebels, and like I mentioned earlier, some pacing issues. Overall, it was an enjoyable read.
Cover: I loved it. It’s not sexual or exploitative, nor too ambiguous to what the summary suggest the book might be about. Also, to me, the girl seems like a woman of color which is always a plus, since we’re underrepresented. Despite the bleakness, it’s a rather calming visual for me, haha.
Check it out on GoodReads Here!