Friday, August 8, 2014

"The Death of the Wave"

This is, at first glance, your typical dystopian novel: the world's gone to hell so now it's up to a few nobodies to lead a rebellion and save it. In this book, the nobodies don't even have names, just numbers or words given in place of names when they passed their exams.

The premise of this story is interesting. The concept of the arts being forbidden and becoming the tools of rebellion is beautiful. The more-than-human overlords and the standardized testing that determines your fate is perfect dystopian story fodder. The idea of heroes who are broken and deadly is what makes for pop culture win. The story itself is attractive (if you get rid of that random, unnecessary incest). However, the things that make this book unique are the same things that ruin it for me: it's written in unrhymed prose from the points of view of seven main characters.

The writing style or the switching characters alone could have been very intriguing. Telling the story from several perspectives then bringing them all together sounds fantastic. But the combination of these two techniques, and the execution made for a difficult and confusing read. Just when we'd start getting to know a character, start to see behind their facade, it would switch to someone else. We would never get to really know the characters very well at all. I felt like the main character, Author, is the one we know the least, and much of the book is from her perspective!

It was very hard to keep everything straight in my head. I'm not stupid, but there were many things I didn't get until I read the time line after. Which is another thing. If you require a character guide at the start, and a time line at the end (which sums up what the entire book spelled out), your story might be too complicated.

I hate to give negative reviews, especially when there's so much potential in the story, but I cannot recommend this book. It was too confusing and jumbled.

Not Recommended, 1/5 Stars

I received this book from the publisher through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program in exchange for an honest review.

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