C. Phillips

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The potential is there

2 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-01-10

The start of the story is pretty good and interesting. The concept of cities on wheels is fun and keeps you entertained as the world is being developed. But that's as good as it gets. The problem I had plugging through this novel was the poor character development.

All of our main characters are whinny and flip flop their emotional radar on a dime. At times I felt I was reading the Maze Runner. While I have no issue with a character having an inner struggle as they start to see a world in a different way as it challenges everything they know, in this story, the author does a poor job bringing this struggle to light. The swing of the emotional pendulum of the characters never shortens as they continue to go from one extreme to the other and back again. It's not all bad as there are some saving qualities, mostly in minor characters, but it's bad enough that it takes you out of the story.

It also doesn't help that a wonderfully written antagonist was utterly ruined in the end in a weak attempt to give him redemption. Again, I have no issue with antagonists finding redemption, but hints have to be there throughout the story to make his change of heart believable. This is a character shown to be pretty evil throughout the story (and during his past), so why am I to believe that he was a good guy all along because you now TELL me why he did what he did. They just don't add up, and it was cheap and unrewarding. And his arc with his nemesis is also spoiled in the end by this redemption attempt.

The reader here is yet another reader who does a great job with the narration, but misses on so many point when reading characters. The dialogue was whinny, but his reading made it even worse. Even lines that should have been read with confidence were read as if the character was scared and confused.

I mentioned Maze Runner above as a comparison, so I will use that again. If you enjoyed Maze Runner, you will probably enjoy this title. If you didn't, you won't enjoy this one either. 2 stars on everything for me as the "it's okay" fits exactly what I think about this. I will not be readings books 2-3-4.

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