on October 6th 2015
Genres: adult, dystopia, science fiction
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The strange war down south—with its rumors of gods and monsters—is over. And while sixteen-year-old Hallie and her sister wait to see who will return from the distant battlefield, they struggle to maintain their family farm.
When Hallie hires a veteran to help them, the war comes home in ways no one could have imagined, and soon Hallie is taking dangerous risks—and keeping desperate secrets. But even as she slowly learns more about the war and the men who fought it, ugly truths about Hallie’s own family are emerging. And while monsters and armies are converging on the small farm, the greatest threat to her home may be Hallie herself.
This is going to hurt, but this novel was a chore to read. When I am on break at work or when I take my lunch hour, I am so excited to get back to my Kindle, but during reading this novel, I would do all I could to avoid picking it back up. It took me 2 weeks to finish it, just out of sheer frustration. I was keen on liking this one, since the cover and the description had so many things that I love.
I enjoy starting off positive on a review, so I will give credit when credit is due. Bobet’s world and her paranormal/magical realism were highly intriguing. I wanted a bit more from the world building, but from what I saw, her imagination is outstanding. The set up for the two universes in her novel rang with a Gothic tone, and the dystopia was lightly applied to the story. There wasn’t a great emphasis on the decayed civilization: the author trusted that the audience was smart enough to understand that the height of the present day society came crashing down. I wanted to know where this was set, and what the government structure was for more than just the immediate area, but the setting mirrored a civilization in the midst of rebuilding, so I let this slide due to story structure.
However, no matter how interesting the idea or chilling the setting, the characters promptly came in and killed off whatever enthusiasm I held for the story. As I stated before during an update, I tended to call this book Inheritance of Assholes, because there wasn’t a single character I remotely liked in this book. A great huge majority of the story line pivoted around overwrought and bloated drama. The romance was a tepid, unsurprising muddled pile, and every single person was flat out rude, hateful or just plain careless. I am usually for a pro-sister story, but watching two juvenile, bratty girls try to carry the plot felt more like a sour Thanksgiving dinner than a compelling story arc. The bickering among the entire cast wore down on my own mood and emotions. The one thing this book was successful at was placing me into a mood. This story had no heart. I was even rooting for a female MC with self esteem issues, but after some time, low self esteem degraded into flat out stupidity and self-centeredness. The majority of the issues in the book could have been solved with clarification. But the secrets and the lying didn’t seem realistic. Every person was keeping something to themselves for the sake of the plot, not character development.
The book drowned in its own self importance and emotional gouging. This is a short review, but I honestly just want to be done with this book. The Gothic, dystopic future turns away from bleak and into droll when the characters try to carry the emotional support and end up fumbling any type of honest sentiment. Disappointment doesn’t even start to cover it. However, I will admit that this isn’t a bad book, it just wasn’t one that could hold my attention or snag my interest.