4 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Wow, I feel like somehow I found the book that reminds me most of the Percy Jackson series. It highly resembles it while remaining unique–most definitely a rare find!
What I found that I liked most about this book is that it is particularly humorous–which I almost never see in fantasy books. To name one example, in the beginning of the book it is said that there are many unnatural earthquakes occurring. Here’s what the main character, Olivia, says about it: “‘Scientifically impossible,’ according to the experts, yet the quakes kept happening with no explanations. No legitimate explanations anyway. The Democrats and Republicans kept blaming each other and other countries as if earthquakes were a political matter they voted upon.” I found this last part particularly funny because–not to get extremely political on my reviews–but as a person who is one of these parties, I can’t help agreeing that it’s very true of both parties. If there were multiple earthquakes occurring on our land, we would most definitely find both parties blaming one another. In fact, many people have blamed past presidents or each other’s parties for things either party obviously had nothing to do with: the Super Bowl, actors’ actions, etc. So I just ended up finding it humorous that the author was bold enough to capture this so well in all its sheer honesty.
There’s also much more to this story besides the snippets of humor scattered about in the story. The story kept faithfully to its set pace, which I find truly admirable. I rarely encounter an author who can keep up with a set pace. Most authors I’ve read from tend to switch pace in certain parts of a story, yet this author kept up her pace so dutifully well that it astonishes me. Of course there were “skips” in time (i.e. “a few weeks passed”, “a few months passed”), but I felt that the author managed to make these skips occur without harming the pace of the book. Instead, these skips set up the stage for the story. The even pacing also helped me (the reader) to understand more about Olivia, how she feels about the changes in her world, and how the world is reacting to the appearance of statues popping out from the ground. And I feel that this made the story all the more believable and enjoyable.
However, something I found myself neutral about was how the story just promptly jumps into the fact that Olivia’s world is already unnatural and out-of-the-ordinary. The reason I hold a neutral position here is because I see how this can hold both its positives and its negatives: on the pro side, it makes the story unique and doesn’t dilly-dally–it simply gets to the point; on the con side, readers won’t know how Olivia’s life was like before these unnatural phenomena occurred–was it very different for her before? So in this part of the story’s structure, I’m still a bit conflicted. I’ll let you decide for yourself.
One thing I didn’t particularly like about this book was that for a period of time I was unsure exactly what audience was supposed to be reading this. Yes, I know that young people will be reading this–but was it for children in middle-school or in high school? I felt unsure of this while reading this book because the writing felt as if it were composed for, say, 6th to 9th graders. The chapter names felt like ones I would read out of a middle school book, the way Olivia is bullied and responds to the bullies feels like scenes I would read out of a middle school book, Olivia acts like someone in middle school,… and so this had me a bit confused. The author clarified this after I had developed these questions and told me that it is geared towards 12-15 year old readers. However, I still have the feeling that it’s more for middle-school readers and, at the bare minimum, those who have just begun high school.
Overall, though, I want to say that I want a sequel, a prequel, and I want to see this hit the big screens. I’d really, really like that. If a movie company requests to turn this into a movie, I’d definitely want to go to the premiere!
If you are interested in purchasing this book, go to the Amazon webpage or the Barnes and Noble webpage to purchase. You can watch the YouTube Trailer here and visit D.J. Torres on her website. This book is scheduled for release on April 4, 2017. If you would like to read my last review, check it out here. Thanks for reading!