Morning all! Yes I’m back with another book review of a book in a series where I had not read the previous titles. I may have to make a blog post dedicated to why I sometimes do this so that I don’t feel like I have to explain/apologise every time…
In my defence I am getting slightly better at not doing so. At any rate, I still think it’s a good exercise to see if a book in a series can stand on its own so let us see how The Forever Ship fared.
Goodreads Summary for book #1 (To avoid spoilers but to give you the concept):
Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, for some unknowable reason every person is born with a twin. Of each pair one is an Alpha – physically perfect in every way – and the other an Omega burdened with deformity, small or large.
With the Council ruling an apartheid-like society, Omegas are branded and ostracized while the Alphas have gathered the world’s sparse resources for themselves. Though proclaiming their superiority, for all their effort Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: Whenever one twin dies, so does the other. Cass is a rare Omega, one burdened with psychic foresight. While her twin, Zach, gains power on the Alpha Council, she dares to dream the most dangerous dream of all: equality. For daring to envision a world in which Alphas and Omegas live side by side as equals, both the Council and the Resistance have her in their sights.
So I joined this story at book number three, which, again, is not something I advise doing but I’m a rebel without a cause so I have been known to do so from time to time. What I will tell you is that this concept is so solid that you don’t need to have read the first two books to figure out pretty much everything that happened in them. This is a stupendously good thing (at least it was for me) because it means I don’t spend the first third of the book trying to work out what on earth is going on.
You can definitely feel The Hunger Games influencing this book and this storyline. There’s the themes of triumph over adversity and the elements of arbitrary hierarchy are evident throughout. Joining the story in the third book does mean that I’m at the climax of the action so I can’t say for certain that the first two books were as exciting but this one was certainly packed full of battles, daring escapes, tragedies and rousing speeches.
There are a few elements that don’t make precise sense, like why, in a world 400 years into the future, people are still fighting with swords. But I have to give the benefit of the doubt and assume that this is explained in earlier books (and, to be perfectly honest, swords are just cool and I’m not going to be angry at swordfights).
What I truly loved about this story was the concept. The idea of one twin not being able to be killed because then the other will die is a phenomenal idea that, while I don’t think it is entirely novel, is used so well in this story. Where normally any problem would be solved with a swift sword to the heart in this case they have to consider their actions and there’s a whole other ethical element. Equally, it adds a degree of tension because at any time a character’s life can be at risk not only from the circumstances at that point in the story but also their twin’s circumstances. All in all I was totally sold on this idea by about page ten and it just kept getting better and better.
Pull into this mix a bunch of characters all of whom were interesting to read about and all of whom you grow to care about (I imagine if you’ve read the other two books you’d like them even more) and you’ve got yourself a darned good ending to a trilogy.
As far as books that sit on the ‘similar to The Hunger Games’ shelf go this is one of the better ones I have read. I’ve just done some speedy searching and it turns out The Fire Sermon (book #1) is in my local library so I may have to go and grab that at lunch time!
My rating: 4/5 stars
By the way, I received a digital review copy of this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
What do you think? Am I still a terrible human for committing the crime of reading books out of order? Am I going to be terribly disappointed in book #1? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
You never know when I’ll get round to reviewing The Fire Sermon so the best thing to do would be to hit that follow button so you never miss a post!
Until next time!
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