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Icons Hardcover – May 7, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up–Seventeen years ago, Dol's parents were among the billions killed on The Day. Since then, Dol and her best friend, Ro, have grown up in the Grasslands, protected and kept hidden in a peaceful mission. But things change on Dol's 17th birthday, when Embassy soldiers kill the Padre and capture Dol and Ro. Held captive by the Embassy's alien ambassador, the teens meet Lucas and Tima, both of whom have similar markings on their wrists as Ro and Dol. The four learn that they are Icon children who possess the supernatural ability to read and control emotions. Icons has a promising start, slows considerably in the middle, and gets only slightly more exciting by the end. “Top secret” and “Classified” documents appear between the chapters to provide necessary background information about the new alien-controlled planet. The four protagonists are difficult to care about. Two love triangles feel forced as only Ro seems to really feel anything for anyone else. The premise, while original, is confusing at times and requires infinite patience from readers, who will wonder far too long what the point is. For another alien-takeover story with excellent world-building, suggest Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave (Putnam, 2013).–Leigh Collazo, Ed Willkie Middle School, Fort Worth, TXα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Stohl’s dystopian California harbors a corrupt government, a teeming underclass who slave away in the Hole to serve that government, and the mysterious Icon children: individuals who survived a horrific alien attack on Earth that stopped all power sources and shut down cities all over the world. Why did Doloria, a Weeper, and Furo, a Rager, survive when everyone else in their cities perished? Dol and Ro, raised in the countryside by the padre of a deserted mission, have been kept in the dark as to the power of their uncontrollable emotions. Now 17, they are captured by the Embassy, jailed, and interrogated as the Ambassador and her henchmen try to harness their unique gifts. There they meet two other Icon children, one of whom happens to be the Ambassador’s son. Fans of Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures series will find many of the same elements here—paranormal romance, a fast pace, and intriguing characters—but within a distinctly science-fiction setting. The strong messages of questioning authority, daring to resist injustice, and loyalty to one’s group will resonate with teens who loved The Hunger Games. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Stohl is the best-selling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels (the first one is about to become a major motion picture), and fans will be chomping at the bit for this one. Grades 7-11. --Debbie Carton
Top customer reviews
The beginning was interesting enough. The reader is thrown right into the action. However, this is also where I found a fault. The description given on the cover is basically the back story for this book. Yes, as the story continues, you find out more and more about The Day, the Icons, etc., but I would have liked to have a little more information going into the story. Sometimes characters used terms that were foreign or made absolutely no sense at the time in the story, and only finally made sense at the very end. I started putting things together throughout reading this novel, but I wish more information was given in the beginning. Really it would have just needed to be a couple of sentences...just a little bit more than what was presented.
Then, the middle of the story came, and it dragged and dragged and dragged. I almost was on the verge of giving up with the book because I got so bored. There were also some things that didn't add up to me. For example, (view spoiler).
The middle is also where we learn more about the characters, none of which I liked or connected to. As a main character, Dol was just boring and clueless. For someone who can (view spoiler). And of course, there is a love triangle. While most love triangles can be frustrating, you have to admit, they do keep the story interesting and can be fun if they're written properly. Well, in this case, it isn't. The main thing that bothered me was Lucas. I just couldn't stand him throughout the entire book, and his actions make him extremely unlikeable. But in Dol's eyes, he is amazing, spectacular, and godly. It made me want to gag. Ro is understandable as a side of the triangle, but Lucas made no sense to me. Lucas is basically a complete arrogant jerk (and not in the good way). Ro is a fighter that is willing to do anything for Dol. Obviously, we are supposed to be rooting for Lucas, but I was Team Ro from the very beginning. Tima was more interesting. She basically kept the story going in my opinion, and I would have much rather read the story from her POV than Dol's.
The ending was also less than spectacular. You basically can figure mostly everything out by the end, so there is no big surprises. The writing was not what I expected by one of the co-authors of the Beautiful Creatures series. I guess I just wanted more from this book because it showed a TON of potential. However, I definitely will not be reading the next one.
The story follows Dol a grass girl who leads a simple life away from the Hole, what used to be Los Angeles. Dol is not a normal teen, she somehow survived The Day when no one else in her family did. Along with Ro, another orphan from The Day, she leads a simple life at the Mission in the grasslands. But not all is what it seems with Dol and Ro. They are a secret hidden away from the Ambassador and the rest of the world.
With quiet character moments and pulse pounding action Icons takes you on a journey of self discovery and revolution. The future of the people lays in the hands of four teenagers who have no idea just how powerful they really are.
This is a great book for readers of all ages and fans of Stohl's Beautiful Creatures will not be disappointed in the subtle romance mixed in with all the other cool sci-fi/dystopian themes.
Dol survived the day. The day the Icons came to Earth, they destroyed land and lives in their efforts to swiftly and violently take over the planet. They succeeded. Now, Dol, Ro and the other survivors hide in the lands beyond the grasp of the Lords who provide the Icons with manpower for the work to be done. While being a Lord is certainly an easier life it also means selling your own kind to a life from which they never return. Dol has always been intrigued by electronics and other mysteries from the time before the Icons, but she never thought there was more to her life than hiding.
When Dol and Ro are taken, they are brought to the Embassy Headquarters. It is there that Dol realizes just how different she and Ro really are. Meeting Lucas and Tima leads to one very clear conclusion- they are all unusual and special in a way that humanity has never seen. Dol can control people's emotions. Ro can agitate people. Lucas and Tima have other talents, but Lucas is also the son of the Ambassador. Together, they learn more about the world than they had ever expected, and it isn't promising...
We first met Margaret Stohl with Kami Garcia in their Gothic supernatural story, Beautiful Creatures. When authors collaborate before you have read their independent work, there is always the nagging question of what they would be like without their co-author. I was always very curious about this pair, because some of Creatures was brilliant while other pieces were a struggle (ending much?!). Now that I have read a book from Garcia and a book from Stohl, I have to say I think Garcia is the stronger writer. Not that this was a bad book or uninteresting, although it certainly suffered from some dry, difficult spots. Instead, it just wasn't as good as Garcia's Legion series, which really never had a dull spot.
It's hard to put my finger on what exactly the problem was for me. I liked Dol well enough. She didn't annoy me or anything, but she also wasn't the kind of heroine I wanted to fight for. She was just ok. The only character I truly loved was Tima, and we just don't see enough of her. I guess this book just had too many dull spots that made it difficult to trudge through to the next exciting part, but I am still planning to read the second book. I hope Stohl is able to get her groove back by then!
Most recent customer reviews
I really wished the world building in this book was written better. I felt that although the story was good, the background information was lacking.Read more
Pages/Length: 9hrs and 30mins
Genre: Young Adult; Sci Fi
At A Glance
Love Triangle/Insta Love/Obsession?Read more