Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Adaptation series
Source: eGalley from netgalley.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
I got an eGalley of this book to review from NetGalley. I am a big fan of Malinda Lo’s previous works (Huntress and Ash). I was excited when I saw she was coming out with a new series, but also a bit leery of the fact that is was more of a sci-fi thriller series. This book was okay. I enjoyed the beginning, was confused by how different the middle was, and then thought the ending was just too typical of alien conspiracy types of books.
Reese and David are returning home from a Debate competition along with their coach. At least that is the plan until birds start flying into planes by the flock and planes all over North America are crashing. With their flight canceled Reese and David decide to rent a car and drive home. After a horrible accident in the Nevada desert…Reese wakes up nearly a month later. She is trying to go about her normal life, but something is different. Her and David have strange abilities. Of course that is not the only strange thing going on….
This was an interesting read. One thing I love about Malinda Lo is her beautiful and lyrical writing style. While this style works well for fairy tale retellings, it obviously wasn’t a style that would work well in this sci-fi thriller. Lo made a purposeful departure from her previous writing style for this book. I missed her lyrical writing style in this book, her style is much more stark and at times a bit hard to engage with in this book.
Reese and David were both kind of blah characters for me. They just didn’t have much personality. This definitely wasn’t a character driven story. Reese does meet a spunky girl named Amber who was a lot more fun to read about. However, even Amber comes off as your typical pixie dreamgirl type of stereotype.
The story was kind of all over the place as far as pacing goes. I was completely sucked into the beginning of the story, it was so scary and interesting and engaging. Then in the middle of the book we take a side trip into a romance between Reese and this girl she meets (Amber). It was odd to have such an abrupt switch in pacing. Then in the last third of the book we start to deal with oodles of government conspiracy, things get interesting again but a lot of this part of the plot is just so typical of alien conspiracy books.
I did like some things about this book. It was a young adult sci-fi novel that is easily accessible, it never gets too confusing or complex. There are some good ideas in here as well. I like that Lo doesn’t shy away from having her main character be bi-sexual (and a bit confused about it all).
This leads me to a side comment about the romance between Reese and Amber….it was just such insta-love…I hate insta-love. I don’t care who the love is between but two characters that fall immediately and desperately for each other is just soooooo typical of oodles of YA books out there.
The book wraps up okay. There is a sequel to it called Inheritance, that I probably won’t be reading.
Overall my feelings were just all over the place about the quality of the story. I loved the beginning, thought the middle was boring, and thought the end was okay. The characters are a bit blah and hard to engage with. The end of the story dives straight into very typical alien conspiracy theory and had me rolling my eyes a bit. I would tentatively recommended to those who want an okay YA sci-fi book to read. I personally will not be reading the second book in this series.