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I can't really make heads nor tails of the authors political angle here. I feel there is one and I'm missing it completely. If that's on purpose then I suppose that is a good thing. I couldn't understand if she was aiming for forgiveness or revenge. Are we supposed to be rooting for the black elites who commit atrocities against the whites? Or hoping the whites & "impures" rise up against their oppressors? I guess what I've taken away from it is that power corrupts, no matter who is in charge.. male or female, black or white.
At times I felt parts were jumping a bit. Not in any serious way but it did sometimes cause me to go back and make sure I hadn't missed anything. I kinda ended up assuming all the workers were white and the elites were black but im not sure it was always very clear. I wasn't sure what colour the soldiers were and I ended up thinking more about colour of skin than I ever have.
It reminds me very much of The Hunger Games. The clothes, the attitudes, the drugs, more so when Saige went into the Cube, a survival of the fittest where Elites were watching and judging. I dont think Saige and Avi were characters that are easy to like. They are complete polar opposites. One being miserable, angry, selfish and the other naive & giggly. With both I wished they'd just give it a rest.
It wasn't really very "scientific" 1000 yrs into the future and you'd think they'd have more than hoverbikes and laser guns. I think that may have been a little lazy on the authors part.
This was offered on an amazon first reads by the way. Rather that it being labelled under Sci fi it may better belong in teen fiction?
First off, I really liked the concept, the idea is great, especially in the world we live in today, it provides a lot thought and discussion points. However, there are quite a few plot holes as to what is happening, everything feel’s discombobulated. Especially in the last third of the book, there’s a lot of jumping around that had me go back pages and trying to figure out what was happening, sadly to no avail… I found myself being lost quite a few times.
I liked the premise of this book before opening it. Then it took a weird turn that resembled the Hunger games in obvious ways (the cube, people dying during the competition, put on by the totalitarian government, the anti hero, the love triangle, underdog wins, etc). I also thought the robots were a weird sidenote that really didn't have a role in the plot at all - I'm guessing they play a part in the war coming in the sequel. I would probably read the second in the series, but it wasn't mind blowing or original. The combination of elements was slightly unique but I didn't like the assumption that a thousand years in the future, black people would get pissed and flip the dynamics and make white people pay by enslaving and eradicating them. I like to believe we are all better than that. I guess I just didn't feel like the politics aligned with my personal values.
Some first novels are better than others and this was good enough that I want to read the next book. It is not a comfortable read at all if your skin is white and you’re accustomed to seeing yourself as a dominant character in fiction (and life). I like what Vernon says in the acknowledgments; she didn’t write it to make people comfortable. She wrote the story she wanted to read. And as a society if we don’t work on EQUITY - because equity and equality are NOT the same - and start treating people as people, not things - this dystopian future is a possible happening and that makes people uncomfortable. Too freaking bad.
I'm not sure how to describe why I didn't really enjoy this book. The characters were all unlikable, their personalities seemed rushed to develop. The storyline itself felt like pieces from multiple other dystopias rolled into one. This is not a series that I'll continue reading. 3 stars because it wasn't so bad that I wouldn't finish it , but I was glad when I got to the end.
As a 70 year old white male, I felt there was a very good opportunity at exposing an oft overlooked view of racial imbalance. This book was able to enlighten on this level. As a sci-fi novel, unfortunately, it lacked cohesiveness.
If you're a fan of hard science fiction, look elsewhere. If you're looking for social fiction about a fantasy world that flips the Black/White paradigm, this is your book. I rated it as a three to average the two.