Top critical review
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Coming of age adventure whose characters start out as heroes and end as pieces in a larger puzzle.
on November 7, 2014
First off, I have to admit that it is difficult for me to rate this book without rating the series as a whole, so that is what I am going to do. It turns out I cannot review this series without comparing it to Hunger Games.
There is a great deal of similarity between this series and Hunger Games. Teenage coming-of-age adventure story in a post-apocalyptic dystopian society. I could go further into the premise, but it really does not make much sense outside the context of the book.
Again, like Hunger Games, I found the first book gripping and devoured it quickly. The second book did a good job of keeping up that pace.
Then the third book comes up, and, once again like Hunger Games, it takes the "Us vs. Them" story and throws in "oh look, These Guys Too! Bet you didn't see THAT coming!" plot hook, and things go off the rails for me. The first two books seem to be building your hope for the characters and the world they live in and the ability for them to make the world better. Then they expand the world, and the third book goes about crushing your hopes of a happy ending.
While reading the first two books, I was a little bummed that it would be over in three. By the time I was about a quarter through the third book, I was ready for it to be done. I was looking forward to Four during the first two books. After reading the third, I don't have any real interest in reading Four anymore.
The real world does not have happy endings for everyone, but this isn't really about happy endings. It is more about building up these characters to great heights with the implication that they will usher in a new age. Then, it turns out in the end they are a cog in a machine in the end. Important, sure, but used to an end just the same.
I would actually rate the first two books at five stars, but the third book is such a letdown that it brings down the whole series for me, and this book is useless without the other two. If you read Hunger Games and loved it, this scratches the same itch. In the end, I didn't hate it, but it lost a lot of luster quickly in the end.