Monday, March 23, 2015

The Prey by Tom Isbell

Series: The Hatchery (bk. 1)

Genera(s): Dystopian Sci-fi

Subjects: fugitives, resistance to government, survival, post-apocalyptic, adventure

Setting: Western and Central USA

POV/Tense: Rotating, 1st person POV(past tense): Book, 3rd person POV(present tense?): Hope

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 404 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover  

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary/ product description: “A hot debut trilogy and a riveting story of survival, courage, and romance in a future where creating a master civilization is the only thing prized, no matter the method. After the Omega (the end of the end), 16 year old guys known as LTs discover their overseers are raising them not to be soldiers (lieutenants) as promised, but to be sold as bait because of their Less Than status and hunted for sport. They escape and join forces with a girls’ camp, the Sisters, who have been imprisoned and experimented on for the "good of the Republic," by a government eager to use twins in their dark research. In their plight for freedom, these heroes must find the best in themselves to fight against the worst in their enemies.”

My Review:  I expected more from this book. I thought it would be more unique, but it turned out to be too similar to other dystopian books out there. It was still a good read. It was easy with good pacing. The characters were okay. The boys all went by nick-names. The main character is called Book because he’s smart. There’s names like June Bug, Cat, K2 and Four Fingers. The main girls are twins Hope and Faith.

I wanted more world building. The book does explain that there was a nuclear attack in the past and that some people have been affected by the radiation. The government that rose from this is like any other dystopian government in which they hate people who are different in some way. They call these people Less Thans and they treat them poorly or just plain kill them. Book doesn’t realize that the boys around him are being raised and educate to be hunted down for sport.

The book tried to hard to be like other dystopian book. It’s not exactly the Hunger Games other than the there is survival stuff and they do learn to use a bow and arrow, but it’s not the thrilling kind of action you’d expect. The setting partially feels like the Scorch Trials, the second Maze Runner book. A desert and crazies? Maybe the author read some James Dashner too? They travel though the Rockies or Sierra Nevada mountains too. And the plains.

The book switched from Book’s first person POV (past tense) and Hope’s 3rd person POV (present tense?), which is an interesting choice. Maybe the author didn’t know how to write in 1st person in a girl’s POV. There’s very little romance. Maybe it’ll develop in the next book. I will probably real the next book. I just wish there was a twist, like aliens or something. I recommend this to fans of dystopian survival books like the Hunger Games or Maze Runner.

Cover Art Review: I love the title treatment with the stone texture and barbed wire. The lasers made me think there was more sci-fi stuff, but it’s more like a sniper-laser. The canyon is a nice photo.

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