Monday, 1 July 2013

Review ~ Icons (Icons #1) - Margaret Stohl

Icons (Icons, #1)Paperback received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 7th May 2013

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol′s family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn′t know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside - safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can′t avoid.

She′s different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador′s privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn′t a coincidence. It′s a conspiracy.

Within the Icon′s reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions - which they′ve always thought to be their greatest weaknesses - may actually be their greatest strengths.

Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts - in order to save the future.

My Opinion

I was really excited to read this book and was so happy when it came in the post. I must say though, Icons has really split my opinion in terms of what I think of it. I just cant decide how I feel. On one hand it was an enjoyable read that had good moments and on the other hand there were things that I just didn't get.

OK, so the good points and things I liked. First I liked the concept and idea of the Icon Children. I thought it differed the novel from other dystopian where by the population is just repressed and it's up to normal humans to stop it. It reminded me a bit of Partials by Dan Wells because of this and the fact people were created to be a sort of 'cure'. I also liked how the author integrated messages, transmissions and extracts from embassy prohibited books at the end of every chapter. They created a nice mystery as they were brief and weren't explained right until the end which I liked.

One thing I found when reading Icons is that is was pretty slow and I couldn't get through more than 50 pages at a time - which is why it has taken me nearly a week to read. The ending was definitely better and the action did pick up slightly but personally it was too late as the book ended as it start to get good in my opinion. I wished the rest of the book had been like the ending as the last 70 pages really hooked me.

The thing that I really didn't like with with book - and I think it may explain the slowness - is that there are a lot of unanswered questions, with a lot of the alien/paranormal stuff lacking detail. I'm still not sure what/who the GAP Miyazawa,  the Lords or the Icons are and I've finished the book! I was reading and was about half way through when names/initialisms started appearing and I got really confused. I thought it must be my memory so I skimmed back to try and find an explanation to who they were but just couldn't. Because of this I felt it very hard to picture anything or engage with the story as I didn't really know what was what.

As well as this I couldn't really engage with the character. Towards the end I did start to engage with Ro more but like with the action I felt it came too late and wished the rest of the book had been like it. Personally I question whether the first two thirds of the book needed to be so long as I don't feel they explained much and parts were slightly boring. I just wish the action started earlier as it could have been really enthralling.

Overall, although it took me a while to read I did enjoy Icons - I just had to read small sections at a time. I do wish there were more explanations but maybe things will be clearer in the sequel? It's an interesting read that presents some new ideas so you may want to check it out.

Thanks to Harper for the copy!


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