Alive – Scott Sigler

Rating: 1/5 Stars

At the end of the book there is a note from the author asking not to spoil anything. I will try my best to respect his wishes; however I don’t believe there was much action in the book worth spoiling. Unfortunately, many of the problems with the book could be considered spoilers, so I’ll try to discuss them without giving any major parts of the story away. When I first read the blurb I was intrigued. I usually enjoy YA books and dystopian novels and this sounded like an interesting premise. I really wanted to like this book; unfortunately, as I read on I was just had a lot of questions, was bored, and was annoyed with many of the characters. It should have been a page turner but I found myself taking breaks every few chapters because I was so bored. Even, once it got to the action part of the novel (which last for maybe 10 pages) I still didn’t find myself being drawn into the book.

The majority of the book is walking and whining from all of the characters. And hearing about how “beautiful” everyone is. Oh,  and arguing about who gets to be leader. That is mentioned an annoying amount of times.  I guess I have to remember that the characters are only 12 (but in older teenage bodies?). However, sometimes they talk and act like they are about five years old. On that note, I have no idea who the target audience for this book is. Yes, I know it is a YA book but that doesn’t help my confusion. The characters of the story look like teenagers and talk about boobs a lot, but really they are twelve. They use phrases and logic that sound like they are early elementary school age. In addition, the writing style seems juvenile. There is a lot of repetition and telling, not showing.

The book is narrated in first person of Em, who got out of her coffin first so obviously that makes her the leader. Unfortunately, we are in her head for the entire book. She mostly is confused, thinking about how everyone around her is beautiful, and focused on how she is the leader. She seems to struggle with the fact that she is the leader (Am I good enough? What was I thinking by doing that?) However, she won’t let anyone else be leader. About half of her thoughts revolve around her being the leader and how no one should dare to try and overthrow her as leader. She gets extremely annoyed when anyone says anything to her. However, throughout the entire novel she just takes credit when anyone else does anything. Other people use their smarts or strength or tell Em what to do and she just takes credit for it. Other than bossing everyone around by telling them where to walk, Em does nothing and it is somehow adored for it. Also for as often as leaders are talked about I’m not sure why there needed to be one leader. It seemed like a bunch of them were actually filling the role of leader. Because of all of this I disliked Em and didn’t connect to her at all; I did not find her to be the strong female protagonist I wished she was.

Essentially everything in this story was lacking for me. I wish the plot and characters were more relatable and interesting. I wished the writing style was different. The ending seemed way too easy. And I really wished I didn’t have as many questions. Nothing was answered for me. I realize it is a trilogy so some of this is being set up for that, but I feel like things that were talked about excessively (the shapes on their heads) should be explained at least somewhat. Usually in a trilogy the first book needs to be exciting to draw readers in and I didn’t find that. I hope that the second book is better and I believe the success of that will dictate how this trilogy is.

I received a copy of this book for free through GoodReads First Reads.

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About A Geek At Heart

My name is Liz and I’m 22. I’m a college student from Massachusetts currently studying Public Health. I love traveling, reading, and photography. I also like elephants and maps. If you have a book you would like reviewed, feel free to contact me.
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