This was a little slow going at first. I didn't actually feel like reading it, but I pressed on. The set up makes the book sound like a whole new winter world with a different race of humans, but the farther you read, you find out you have been duped. As far as comparing this to The Hunger Games, the contest aspect was the only similarity and that is stretching it. I just did not care for this novel, but I can't seem to explain it without giving spoilers, so if you are still interested, read ahead.
The central conflict involves a quest for relics in the frozen arctic. Sounds okay so far. What you don't know is that the relics are things from our present day: Ipads, cosmetics, mirrors, etc. The religion of this time believes that Apple is an evil god that people of the past worshiped before the cleanse(the wiping out of almost everyone and everything). The more I read, I assumed that this was an anti technology/ anti consumerism book. To an extent, it may be. Then at the end, you were left wondering what the author's angle is. Is she preaching about technology, sin, consumerism, or something else?
I don't mind a political or other symbolic message in my books; however, I want it to be symbolic and underscored. I don't want it so glaringly obvious that I am no longer sucked in the world but in the present. On top of that, I just didn't have any interest in the book. As I said before, I kind of had to make myself read it...not good.
Obviously I am just one person, so I know some will enjoy this novel. I hate giving negative reviews, but I wanted to be honest. If you are still interested in this novel, get it from the library.