Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Waste of My Time

Expected Publication:  March 26th, 2013
By: Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan
ISBN-13: 9780062118516

Welcome to the Wasteland. Where all the adults are long gone, and now no one lives past the age of nineteen. Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan’s post-apocalyptic debut is the first of a trilogy in which everyone is forced to live under the looming threat of rampant disease and brutal attacks by the Variants—hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin. Esther thinks there’s more to life than toiling at harvesting, gleaning, and excavating, day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day. But then Caleb, a mysterious stranger, arrives in town, and Esther begins to question who she can trust. As shady pasts unravel into the present and new romances develop, Caleb and Esther realize that they must team together to fight for their lives and for the freedom of Prin.


     Esther and all of the others living in Prin are just trying to live through one day at a time.  The difference between her and them, is that she is friends with a Variant named Skar and they believe Variants are an abomination.  Then the Variants begin to attack the town of Prin, firebombing buildings and killing innocent citizens for seemingly no reason.  Around this time Caleb, a stranger, comes to town on a mission.  Caleb is determined to find out who murdered his wife and kidnapped their infant son - and more importantly, why they did it.  And what does the Source have to do with everything?  Esther is shunned and Caleb is run out of town as they get closer and closer to the truth.  With time running out, can they figure out what's really going on, save the town and get Caleb's son back?  I was wary about this book from the get-go because of the authors feeling the need to make the 'bad guys' hermaphrodites and outcasts.  Oh, so just because they don't have one set gender they're deformed and disgusting?  Shame on both of you assholes for perpetuating stereotypes, even in dystopian fiction.  I managed to slog my way through the book, even without any real world-building to get me involved in the story and some horrifically one-dimensional characters.  Esther is a spoiled brat, who lets her sister do all the work and then steals food to give to her friends when her sister isn't watching.  She admits that she doesn't know how to do anything, but it's almost like Esther's proud of it, even though it makes her useless, in a high-risk, low-survival world.  I liked Caleb, but I feel like I didn't get to know him very well and that while his quest was admirable it was also prepackaged to fit anyone.  The romance between Esther and Caleb was unrealistic and majorly based on lust and nothing else.  It was sickeningly obvious from their first interaction that they were going to be thrown together.  I did like the revelation about what was underneath Joseph's building and way Levi was defeated.  Overall, a very lazy attempt at high grade dystopia and I will definitely NOT be reading the next one.

VERDICT:  1.5/5  Stars

*I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. It will be available for purchase on March 26th, 2013.*

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