This YA dystopian is told in the first person present tense, which isn't my favorite, but I still enjoyed the book. I found the main character relatable as an oldest sibling (if a bit short on humor, but understandably so) and felt her compulsion to protect her younger sister from the mutated creatures that plague her futuristic world. It's slow moving, with many scenes showing the sisters together and their struggles to survive, but to me it wasn't a boring kind of slow. As the book continues we get back story and a little more misadventure.
My main dissatisfaction with the story, other than the relatively slow pace, is hard to say without spoiling things. So I'll just say that in my opinion there is too much time devoted to describing skin tone and eye color over and over. Every once in a while is fine, but this gets downright obsessive. I do appreciate that the skin tone in discussion is dark tan with black hair, and it's the reason I'm bothering to post this review on the blog (rawhitebooksandmore.weebly.com for those reading this elsewhere). I'm not completely sure it's enough to warrant titling the book 'diverse', but I decided to interpret the description as such.
A lot of things happen over and over, showing the monotony of a solitary life, but again, I still felt interested enough to keep reading. I felt distant from the story, like the main character was kind of lifeless, but I think that might have been intentional since she is a really dry character just trying to get by. I felt that it improved as her outlook on life did. There were also some typos, and a weird thing in that the text and dialogue is mostly free of contractions, making it feel kind of formal, but then in odd places there will be contractions again, leaving me to wonder what I was supposed to understand about the way they think and talk.
Still, I liked it enough to buy the second book, which long time readers will know I don't always do. I have no trouble stopping a book midway or quitting a series when I see that it's not going a way that will please me. I bought book two, Planet Urth: The Savage Lands this morning and plan to read it right after I finish the book I started last night.
Sexual Content: I think I can safely say it stays in the realm of infatuation, and doesn't creep into the territory of lust. No sexual content.
Violence: Yeah, some stabbing, sword fighting, and associated gore. Most of it is against non-humans.
Overall Plot/Message: I enjoyed the theme of self sacrifice and true love (not romantic), and Avery's personal growth and the growth of her relationship with her sister. The characters are strong despite their flaws and made me want to root for them.
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