Author: Bethany Wiggins
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publish Date: April 2, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic, Romance
Rating: 2/5 Stars
There is no cure for being stung.
Fiona doesn't remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered—her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn't remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She’s right.
Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.
Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.
Before you continue on with this review, gaze at the beauty that is this book cover. Read the intriguing blurb. Anxiously await opening to the first page and reading this eye-catching book in all of its glory.
And then be disappointed.
There are so many ideas out there in the book world--in the world of young adult literature, alone--that sometimes I wonder how there could possibly be any new ones. When I picked this up, it struck me as new. Original. Unlike the rest of the books I had read that epically failed. Much to my dismay, this became one of those books.
It took me one hundred pages to even understand what was going on. Some books open in the action and the backstory is cleared up as the story continues. This book didn't ever clear up, even when there were flashbacks with that exact intention. I felt like Fiona was flailing around just like one of the beasts she was supposed to be the opposite of, clueless and not knowing what she was doing or where she was intending to go.
When she reached the camp and met Bowen, she didn't know who he was. Now, I understand that in her head she was supposedly missing five years of her life, but she knew Bowen before that. How could she not recognize him? How could he not recognize her, or at the very least realize that she's a girl?
Once he eventually did realize that she was a girl, however, and Fiona realized that Bowen was Dredyn--her past neighbor--they were in love. Surprise! Just like that. Of course, for me, it didn't feel "just like that." It felt like "what's-happening-I-don't-get-this-oh-look-fifty-pages-later-now-I-understand-they're-in-love."
There was no depth to any of the characters. I still don't know who Fiona is. I can't picture her in my mind. In fact, I can't picture any of the characters in my mind.
Each time I begun to understand some of the characters, or get a grasp on their being, something happened and the dawning of realization that had crept into my mind flew out the window. Example: Oh, I think I'm sort of starting to understand where Arris-Arrin is coming from and who she is. Three minutes later: Never mind, she's a he!
In the beginning of the book (actually, more like the first two chapters) I really liked the writing style. But it gradually grew faster and faster to the point where I couldn't keep up, was constantly confused, and frequently had the urge to fling it across the room.
But, alas, I did not, and now it is sitting on the bottom of my stack of library books, never to be read or seen or heard from again. To say the least, I will not be picking up the sequel.