Author: Emma Pass
Publication Date: April 25, 2013
Rating: 2 Stars
Rating: 2 Stars
2113. In Jenna Strong’s world, ACID – the most brutal, controlling police force in history – rule supreme. No throwaway comment or muttered dissent goes unnoticed – or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a bloody crime she struggles to remember.
The only female inmate in a violent high-security prison, Jenna has learned to survive by any means necessary. And when a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID – and to uncover the truth about what really happened on that dark night two years ago.
I wanted to like this book so bad! Maybe my expectations were too high, but when the blurb talks about a girl who has survived in an all male prison for 2 years, it's hard not to expect awesomeness.
At the start, Jenna was everything I was expecting. She was smart, tough, didn't take crap from anyone, and would kick anyone's butt who so much as looked at her wrong. Then she gets broken out of prison and that's when things started going downhill for me. Jenna changes a little too much. It's as if the person she was in prison is no longer there. When she wakes up again, she demands her answers, and does a very flimsy attempt at escaping, and then she just goes with flow...She should have been questioning everything much more, or tried to break out or something, but she just takes it all, nods her head and keeps going. It wasn't even just that, it was that she stays and plays her part for like a month, and the only reason things start moving along is because Cade leaves her, not the other way around. She never asks more of Cade, tries to get information out of him, it was all just a little underwhelming.
Then there are the coincidences. There are a bit too many of them to let them be just coincidences. Even Jenna questions them. She randomly stumbles upon Max, they randomly end up in that library with those people, when it's time to infiltrate Innis, the girl missing is not only sick but her perfect size..Really? Just like that?
I also wanted her to do something more against Jacob, but it was like her IQ dropped once she stepped outside that prison. We only get to see her being that strong, kickass girl again when, guess what? She is back in prison. Go figure.
The pacing was kinda slow as well, or should I say it had a lot of ups and downs. It started out with a bang, then got kinda boring, picked up again, then kinda boring again, and then picks up again. It was just enough action to keep you going, and the twists weren't surprising since I saw them coming anyway. I did like how there were little reports, letters and memos as the start of each section, it was pretty neat. The writing was supereb as well, it was just the background that lacked.
My biggest issue wasn't even Jenna, it was the world-building. If I had to describe it in one word, it would be shallow. It had all the elements there, but none where expanded upon to the point where it was hard to really believe in such a world. All we are told is that there was some kind of economic crash and the world went to the crappers and this militia basically takes over and takes charge of the UK. Ok till then, problem is, this militia is incredibly messed up, they make up the Lifepartner system, there is cognitive realignment and the separation of London, the upper class from the lower class, and my issue is, what the hell happened to the rest of the world?! Is no one else watching? Are there no immigrants/tourists allowed in? And if not, how can no one think this is strange and look into it? It's as if the UK (which is now called IRB) was completely isolated from the rest of the world. And yet, how do they take down the tyrant? By taking him against the European Criminal Justice Bureau. So the rest of the world is there! But we don't know anything else about it, and it seems as if they aren't on the same boat as the IRB, so what gives?
In short, as much as I wanted to love this book and how promising it looked, it failed to deliver for me. If you are a fan of Dystopian, you could give it a try anyway, might end up liking it for than me.