Words have been escaping me for the last week as I try to write a review worthy of this book. It is an incredible start to a series which has me bagged, tagged and shackled up tight. There is not anything I do not like about this book.
I am not in love with all the characters but I have connected to them all. There is a teasing air of sexiness about the whole thing. Who will Silver end up being with after the hurt of Alex goes away… will it ever truly go away? Wait, we have no clue! I guess I will have to keep on reading!
This book is balls to the walls chuck full of wonderful adult subject matter (or extra wang-age as Geoff just put it *rolling eyes*) I am not talking sex scenes, though it was sexy and there were some sexy scenes, but if you are looking for the bare-chested manwhore off the cover of a romance novel, look again. These are broken individuals, struggling to stay alive, and in this society, it is the survival of the fittest with a touch of insanity. Folks who have the stomach to do what it takes to stay alive, to take the risks but not crazy enough to let it consume them.
Over three-hundred years after the apocalypse humanity is on the brink of extinction. Violent and dystopic with only a sliver of hope left at survival. The human population hangs by a thread. Yes human, because a mutant creature has evolved and risen from the ashes called Chimera, a base race of genetically altered creatures. Driven by instinct and hunger, they live in packs with nothing beyond breeding and eating as their driving force, or at least the humans think so. They outnumber humanity 21:1 and have a hunger for flesh. The very intolerant government has a specialized force of hunters, trained specifically to clear the surrounding area of the chimera. During Ella Cross’ (code name Silver) last hunt she discovers what looks to be a young woman, until she opens up her eyes and Silver sees the eyes of the enemy looking back at her. She also sees a human, and Silver does not kill humans.
Risking everything she smuggles her back into the Fringe District, depositing her into an abandoned theatre she calls her own, it even bears her mark. Then the unspeakable happens, she is arrested and the only thing keeping her from being “Enforced” (executed) is her father’s position. Surprisingly she was not charged for allowing the “human” to live, no one found out about that, but for her relationship with a subordinate soldier. A crime which could have gotten her executed, she finds herself having to live among the basest of humanity, in The Fringe District. It is a place where you are lucky to live the first 24 hours and after that if you do not sell your body or your soul you could be dead unless you learn to compromise the ethics you lived by when you were in the Reclamation Territory (Brooklyn).
This is a world which is run as many societies are portrayed in a post-apocalyptic story, by politics and strong armed power. The ones with resources having power, and fighting for survival; the population operates on the edge of desperation and against falling. You celebrate all the little things right along with our protagonist Silver and her pet human (?) OK so she is not really a pet, but she is questionable still as human. Along with the beautiful violet eyes the woman is abnormally spry and strong. Though she has no working memory of where she came from, her working knowledge of The Fringe District, she does not even remember her name. She calls herself Alice, and you will have to read the book to find out why because, Sweetie, that would constitute spoilers!
The plot is sophisticated and complex but not confusing. It is a fast paced read; you easily follow from one place to the next. The only thing I can see some folks possibly having an issue with is the “head hopping. I actually found it added to the story and gave me as a reader the emotional tilt to be just as offset as Silver and the rest of the community is on a day to day basis, The third person omniscient POV is a hard formula to adopt and write in successfully. Not many can pull it off (funny but of course I write like this), It allows the Keira to show the thoughts and feelings of the characters in the story. Not a simple task, yet Keira keeps it flowing so smoothly you are not jarred out of the action. You are right there in the midst of all, getting bloody, feeling dizzy and starving for a bag of “crispies”.
I give the read 4.75 stars (the cover may be a deterrent to some but personally I like and get it since seeing the other covers) Plus it would make a cool tattoo.. oh wait the author already did that! Some scenes maybe a trigger bad reactions but again.. it is a kick ass action packed dystopia, there will be killing and ass-kicking all around! So if you want sweet cupcake filled dreams (oh wait there is a cupcake in this, but not a bakery to buy it at) I suggest one of those mellow cozies where the murder is not.. so visceral.