Reviewed by Ana
I often think that the dystopian genre has become so hackneyed that there remains nothing original in the vast number of books that identify themselves as the next The Hunger Games.
Even more unfortunate is the incorporation of teen romance into a majority of these books, frequently with a stock love triangle. As soon as a certain genre becomes a fad among teenagers, everyone incomprehensibly jumps to throw romance into the mix, because all teenagers surely love to swoon, right? Wrong. I remember a time when vampires and werewolves were thrilling for their bloodthirsty actions. Now, the publishing industry accumulates millions from the “paranormal romance” genre that rarely churns out anything more than the generic love plot that catapulted Twilight to popularity. I dare say we’ll soon be faced with a similar “dystopian romance” genre, which will force us snobby readers to judge, discriminate against, and boycott the dystopian genre altogether. I wish that wasn’t the case!
You can see the general direction my review is going. Amy Tintera did at first enthrall me with her destitute and suffering, yet believable world and her dynamic characters. It was not at all difficult to imagine this world of child zombies being forced into soldierdom by the monopolizing and manipulative government. The plot, however, is severely lacking. Wren is an imitation Katniss Everdeen – strong, belligerent and cold-hearted. Because she’s so callous though, I really enjoyed watching the seemingly unemotional assassin being slowly converted into a sensitive and thoughtful girl (who keeps her kick-ass reflexes). I savored the slow transformation thoroughly. However, instead of using this love to shape both characters into leaders of a new era, for most of the novel, Tintera chooses to focus her attention on the physical love these two share (don’t worry, not much more than kissing, but still!). Later, their love is faced with a hindrance, and only their selfishness finally compels Wren to assist the downtrodden humans, and in the process, save the other Reboots. All Wren truly cares about is saving her beloved boyfriend. You know what I recommend instead of this? Read The Autobiography of Malcolm X. That’s what real struggle looks like.