Last week I promised to finish and review a dystopian book this week, so here it is! Chained by Susanne Valenti.
This is the first in a series. I’m not sure how many books are planned, but number four is out now and the story still isn’t over. For a lot of books that would make me really excited, but for this one I’m just not sure. This book has good reviews so it seems I’m in the minority here, but I did not love it. I didn’t even like the first half. It wasn’t the plot or pacing. I thought that was done well, building gradually. It wasn’t the premise of the story. I like that something forced people to live in vast cities inside The Wall and within there’s a strict form of government and class rankings. I even like the variety of characters. Our main character who is a little standoffish, her upbeat guy friend, the tough officer who feels a need to protect them, the strong mystery guy, and his kick-butt sister. It has an interesting cast of characters in an interesting world.
Despite all this, it took me a very,very long time to finish this. I would read a half a chapter and then set it aside. Read some more and set it aside. Finally, I decided I needed to delete it or read it. I literally had to force myself to power through the first half of the book. The problem for me was the writing. I felt like there was just so much telling in the writing and very little showing. It was very narrative and read like a list of events in many places. The sentences didn’t vary and the dialogue was boring. I didn’t connect with the characters or feel much for them at all. That being said, I did end up liking this book.
The writing seemed to improve with each page and the story is truly great. It gained depth over time. I’m not sure if this is because I started rooting for the characters or if the writing really did improve. Seeing as how other people seemed to really like this book, I think I would recommend this with the warning to push through the first half because it gets better. I did get the next of the series downloaded, but I am not in a rush to start it. Maybe when the series is done so I can read them all at once? I’m not sure.
I’ve said a lot without giving you much story so here it goes…Maya is the main character. She gets sent outside of The Wall (in a biohazard suit) to do some testing. Her best friend Taylor (he’s a guy) is sent with her. There’s an accident. As punishment they are sent to the war zone to be messengers. There they train and get sent into battle where everything goes wrong. They find the stories they’ve been told by people behind The Wall aren’t all true, but there are all kinds of dangers outside (including zombie-like people). See? Exciting stuff, right?
If you like dystopians I would give this a try. If you like a book that sticks to a story and has a lot of action you’ll probably like this. If you like to have lots of character insight, great dialogue, and unique descriptions than this may not be the series for you. Hopefully, this is helpful. Happy reading, my friends!