I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
So first off this book was written by a sophomore in high school which is pretty impressive. His command of the English language is remarkable for a person his age. When I was in high school, I could barely write a 4 page paper, let alone a full length book so I just want to say kudos to him.
This was definitely an interesting book. It started off a bit slow. It wasn’t until I was a hundred pages in that I got more invested in the story. There was also this weird 3 year time jump that was a bit jarring. However, by the time I reached two hundred pages, I was hooked. The book ended on a cliffhanger and it made me really want to know what happens next.
As for the characters, I didn’t particularly care much for any of them. Natalie was kind of annoying for most of the book. Her talk of dying got on my nerves because that was all she ever talked about. Ethan was a bit interesting, but Hunter was kind of bland. I did like Danielle because there was more to her than meets the eye.
What I really loved about this book was the sly political commentary that rings true today. There was one passage in particular that I loved. The book states,
“what they didn’t realize, was that the one thing they were told would protect them, with their tariffs, immigration bans, and walls that separated them from the horrible outside world, was really the most dangerous thing of all. It wasn’t immigrants who came from less-developed countries who were destroying America, it was the ignorance of America itself. It wasn’t labor outsourced to other countries that caused America’s middle class to dwindle. It was the rich, corporate tyrants like President Ash himself, who owned one of the largest investment firms in the nation, that sucked the wealth away from most Americans” (41).
I was not expecting to get such deep commentary from a high schooler. That was a really pleasant surprise.
Overall, this was a solid debut book considering the author’s age. I cannot wait to see what else he puts out in the coming years.