By Marie Lu
Expected publication November 29, 2011 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
So I realized as I was reading this that a lot of the books I picked up at ALA (and have subsequently read) were billed as the "next Hunger Games" or for fans of that series. This isn't really that extraordinary except when you realize that I've yet to read the Hunger Games trilogy. So all this hype and comparison is essentially lost on me. Maybe that makes me the best reader for these novels because I don't have to worry about how this title measures up to those. Or maybe it makes me a worse reader of these titles because I don't have that context. It's an interesting question to ponder.
Day is the Republic's most wanted criminal. But they don't know anything about his real identity. When Day plans a risky mission to save his family, will this be the Republic's chance to put an end to his notorious spree?
June is the orphaned daughter of two highly respected members of the Republic. Now, she is a military prodigy on her way to becoming the youngest official Republic agent. When June's beloved brother is murdered, she quickly ascends to the top levels of the military and makes it her mission to bring justice to her brother's killer.
When Day and June meet, everything they think they know about the Republic will be thrown into question and their lives will never be the same.
I had kind of a hard time getting into this at first. I think being thrown into the middle of the story, with short chapters alternating points of view was a little disorienting. This is a new world that I have to get a grip on and it was a little difficult to establish any sense of anything with the shortness of the chapters and the dual p.o.v.s. However, eventually, I think this dual narration works for the novel. It's nice to see all the situations that come up during the book's course from both characters. My main problem with this novel really has nothing to do with the novel itself. I think I'm getting a little burned out on YA books of this ilk - two diametrically opposed teens meet, their lives are changed, neither is who they thought they were, and, oh by the way, the adults are totes hiding things from you. This book never really strays too far from that. In fact, I almost think that's a pretty good summary of what's going on here.
That being said, the novel is fast-paced and action-packed, and the web of lies that make up this society are interesting. Lu leaves some questions unanswered, but it's to be expected, as this is (of course) the first in a new series. Will I pick up the next book when it arrives? Sure - the story is compelling enough that I want to know what might come next for Day and June. I'm sure this book will find its audience.
Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.