- Page Count: 350
- Release Date: January 5, 2015
- My Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads book description:
Since witnessing her parents’ murders at the age of eleven, Phoenix’s only purpose in life has been to uphold her mother’s dying words- to be strong and survive. But surviving outside of The Walls- outside of The Sanctuary- is more like a drawn-out death sentence. A cruel and ruthless city, Tartarus is run by the Tribes whose motto is simple, “Join or die.”
Refusing to join and determined to live, Phoenix fights to survive in this savage world. But who can she trust, when no one can be trusted? Not even herself.
HOLY CLIFFHANGER I was not ready for that one. This is seriously one of the best dystopian YA novels I’ve found. It has familiar elements of the most popular ones (especially Divergent) with the idea of an enclosed city surrounded by a wasteland and the citizens divided into opposing factions, but it totally takes it in a unique direction. The writing is super well done and the story flew by because it actually focused more on doing rather than telling/info dumping like so many other stories.
I was impressed at how quickly I got a strong impression of Phoenix just by her actions and inner dialogue. She was super resilient, smart, strong, capable, and not at all obnoxious, so I’m a huge fan. And the character of the young girl Mouse totally made this story 200% better — she signs instead of talking, brought around some huge character development, and became the humanizing lens that’s often missing from dystopian narration. Pretty sure more teen ensembles could use a cute little kid.
Also, can I just point out how stunning that cover is! Seriously. It’s gorgeous. Oh, and I loved how the front of the book not only had a map, but included illustrated descriptions of each of the tribes so you were already in the world before the story started.
Thank you so much to the author for sending me a review copy!
Check out my Q&A with the author