by J.A. Souders
borrowed from a friend (thanks Shronda!)
Overall this is a dystopian society dressed as a utopia. Things are confusing, but always interesting. You really have to read a bit to start unraveling what is going on. It is a first person narration by a girl who is being groomed to lead this society when Mother (the currently leader) no longer can, but you quickly find out Evie is an unreliable narrator. You have to keep reading to find out why (not that I am going to tell you here!).
Evie has responsibilities as Daughter of the People – She has to get married and Mother has allowed her to make her own decision, this is a big deal that she can choose her own husband. Only good genes can breed. She meets with a psychologist around once a week because “It is good to have someone to talk to”
Elysium is is under the ocean and kept apart from the surface dwellers who ruined the land with their savagery and warring. To keep the city peaceful the Surface Dwellers are shot on sight. Because they are evil and twisted and would ruin things if allowed access to Elysium. Evie meets a surface dweller and decides to help him for some reason. It is one hell of a ride!
What is real? Evie is an interesting character because you don’t really know who or what she is. The reader gets hints of memories and ideas before she forgets everything again to just be happy and do what Mother wants from her. This is about a girl finding herself, finding the truth and doing something about it.
Coupling for genetics, or love – It is also a love story, of two falling for each other during times of stress and having to work together and trust one another because they have no other choice. Evie has to choose a man to couple with to ensure the genetic continuity of Elysium. It is her destiny, her duty and she is happy to do what is needed of her.
Tension! The end is tense and crazy and freakin awesome. Ok, the last 1/3 of the book is all that. The beginning is the set-up, then things start going nuts. You kind of wonder how some of this is possible, meaning how they avoid detection and how Evie starts doing what she is doing. I don’t know how to say more without giving stuff away, but her state of mind is confusing. How did that happen? Not that you get tons of explanation for how they “do stuff” – technical I know…but if you read it, let me know what you think. I choose to suspend my disbelief and just go for the ride because it is pretty thrilling…4 starfish stuck to the glass wall. I will be on the lookout for the next one because as I sit here and think about stuff I realize there are some smallish plot lines left dangling. Nothing major, but enough to make me want to find out more!