Year Published: 2018
Publisher: Grim Oak Press
Genre: Young Adult ~ Science Fiction ~ Fantasy
Stars: 1 and a half, but I’ll make it 2
Disclaimer: I received this e-arc through Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. The image header used is my own and the link at the top of the post links back to the book’s Goodreads page. All quotes given in the review are from the e-arc and therefore might not be accurate. All opinions expressed are my own.
This looked extremely interesting on Netgalley – science fiction, written by the (apparently) stellar Terry Brooks (I’ve only read the screenplay of Hook but my dad always raves about Shannara Chronicles), so I wanted to give it a try. Heck, even the reviews I looked at it spoke positively!
And then it slowly started to become boring. It’s not that Ash (the main character) is boring, but he’s whiny. And while that is relatable in terms of him being a teenager, there’s a difference between a realistic whiny teenager and a jerk. And honestly, I’ll rather have a boring character than a whiny one. He wants to find out the truth about his father and what happened, but then forgets that it’s ever happened as soon as Cay comes in.
Now, Cay is a pleasure synth – which means she’s sort of like a robot? And her only role is to please men (first of all, how heteronormative. And then secondly what a way to write a female character). The other (secondary) characters also sometimes don’t treat her like she’s a normal person, they only see her for what she’s ‘made for’ – which just made me mad.
But now I’m going to rant about all the ways Ash annoyed me (towards Cay and how he felt about her and thought about her). So Ash is super entranced by Cay (he’s also seventeen – and while I’m not being rude about teenage love; I think it’s also true that teenage love can be.. immature – or well, Ash definitely made it seem immature); and while you could make the argument that she’s a pleasure synth and is therefore created to be looked at by men (which is how you can clearly tell this book is written by a man) but I’d rather you didn’t as it’s a really stupid argument that you clearly made up in a few seconds. And the way he talks about her puts her on a pedestal WHEN SHE CLEARLY DOESN’T WANT TO.
Next will be a couple of quotes I found re Ash and Cay that just annoyed me so much I had to put the book down for a few hours.
- So what was she before? A painting? A table?
- LisTEN, if a guy ever said that about me I would boot him through the rugby poles.
- She’s helPING you WASh not signing her ENTIre life over to you!!
And even she tells him to stop thinking about her, he doesn’t, which was just so annoying to read. Like why did we have to read from his perspective?
I hoped the book would feature more street racing than it did. If you ask me, they should’ve focused more on the street racing and not added the unnecessary romance bit (Cay could’ve still come in, as I liked her, it could’ve just been without the romance).
The main plot (as the street racing was an underutilised subplot and the romance an unwanted subplot) just… (to me) fell flat and went nowhere. By the end of the novel, I barely remembered what had happened and why the main character was there. And in a novel, whether it be contemporary, or epic fantasy, or a sci-fi like this – the plot has to be structured. It has to be well-thought out and it has to connect throughout the story and it has to remain true. Otherwise what you get is a story that doesn’t follow through, one that doesn’t make sense.
That’s all I thought of the book (mostly because I didn’t want to keep on thinking about the book) Have you read this or saw it? Do you think I was right? Are you also really upset and frustrated with how some male authors write female characters? Tell me in the comments!