Rating: 3.4 stars
Short Summary: In a society where everyone has a gift, Cyra’s gift of pain leads her on a path with Akos, a farm boy from a warring nation, to try and stop her tyrannical brother’s leadership.
I had to give this book a little time to marinade in my head before I was truly ready to review it. My overall impression: its okay. Sadly, I can’t help but compare it to Divergent.
What I loved about Divergent, was that once I started, I couldn’t stop. I flew through the whole book in an evening and couldn’t believe how easily I’d swept away into the world. I was looking forward to more of Roth’s writing doing the same thing. This one didn’t, but there were a few reasons for that.
First of all, the world that she created in this series was far more complicated, and it took me a lot longer to sink into it. It required more patience and focus to understand the intricacies of the society as it is just a world so vastly different from our own. This was not what I was expecting.
I did like the switching between the characters Cyra and Akos, but I had a bit of a problem with the inconsistency of point of view. Cyra’s chapters were written in first person, while Akos was written in third. I could not understand the reason for this.
What I did like was the darkness of the piece. It was ripe with conflict, and it really helped move the story forward, keep the stakes high, and kept me interested in what was going to happen next. That being said, the world building could have been much stronger. There were a few traditions and elements to this piece that I really just didn’t understand.
Cyra’s and Ako’s relationship felt a bit forced. Having enjoyed the romance between Tris and Four, I was expecting something more along these lines. I’ll just say, you’re not reading this book for the romance.
Recommendation: If you’re looking for a dark dystopian/otherworldly fiction, this might fit your bill, but don’t expect a quick read.