Genre: YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi
Publisher: Blaze Publishing
Publisher: Blaze Publishing
Published: November 22nd, 2016
Page Count: 368 pages
Source: From publisher via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review
The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.
The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.
When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive.
The question is who?
*The Reader's Review*
I honestly cannot remember the last time I've been so torn about my feelings for a book. As you can see, I gave this FOUR stars, but it was a battle to decide. So forgive me if this review seems a bit confusing, but maybe this will give you an idea as to WHY I'm so torn about it.
The thing is... if I had let my mind rate this book... I might have probably rated it 2 or 3 stars. If I had let my mind take over my reading, I probably might have DNF'd it. It did cross my mind, but my heart didn't let me. Not because of pride or a weird sense to finish every single book I pick up, but because the story HOOKED me. My mind wasn't liking it, but my heart was LOVING it. Has this ever happened to you with a book before?!!
And the reason why is because Shadow Fall apparently has a bit of every great sci-fi/dystopian book out there. I think what I wrote on Goodreads after finishing this book sums it up perfectly (forgive my yelling, feels talking here after I finished it):
THIS BOOK IS THE HUNGER GAMES MEETS THE MAZE RUNNER MEETS DIVERGENT MEETS HP (GOBLET OF FIRE) MEETS CINDER AND MEETS ALL OTHER DYSTOPIAN/SCI-FI BOOKS OUT THERE AND WHILE I WAS OVERWHELMED BY ALL THE INFO AND STUFF GOING ON (OVERWHELMED!!!!) I STILL ENJOYED IT SO MY HEART RATES THIS BOOK 4 STARS.
I am not kidding about it. SO MUCH was going in this book that at times I was so overwhelmed to the point of giving up on it. I was barely 13% into the book and so much was happening already that my mind was going into overdrive struggling to catch up. But my heart was loving it. A LOT. My mind was raging, but my heart was digging it. Every single element that I love from dystopian and sci-fi books such as The Hunger Games and Cinder and Red Queen (even though this is technically fantasy), even a bit of HP (if you read it you'll know why) was mixed into this book along with princes. PRINCES. See why my heart loved it?!?! It 100% has everything that I look for in a book.
What my mind didn't like is that Shadow Fall doesn't allow the reader to catch a break. Shadow Fall moves at such a pace that I often wanted it to slow down and to explain everything to me. How the system works, who is who, why are there chosen ones, how did the world get to a point where everything is crumbling, when and how they discovered Pandora?, and so on. So much stuff that I eventually picked up, but it took me way longer than necessary (in my humble opinion).
I also had several issues with some of the secondary characters. There's a lot left unsaid about them and while I understand it is part of the mystery--trying to discover who to trust and who not to--I would have liked to at least know about some of their true intentions to get a better grasp at their personalities. The funny things is that I did like most of them, including the main character, Maia, and Riser. I don't trust anyone but there's something about these characters that call you in.
Anyway, sorry for my confusing thoughts, I'll just wrap this up into something I hope is clearer:
Shadow Fall is not a perfect read, but it has all the elements that I love, so I ended up enjoying it (despite my mind's protests). If you love dystopian/sci-fi books that move at an exceedingly fast pace, with interesting characters, non-stop action, and even a bit of romance (which I loved!), then this book might also be for you.
However, bear in mind that while Shadow Fall is fast-paced, I believe it does need more work on the world-building and to slow it down a notch to allow readers to appreciate the storyline better.
The end. Whew.