Genre: Sci-fi, Dystopian, YA
Rating: 4 STARS
Sixteen-year-old Frost understands why she’s spent her entire life in an abandoned apartment building. The ruined streets below are hunting grounds for rogue robots and Eaters.
She understands why she’s never met a human besides her father. She even understands why he forbids her to look for medicine for her dying pet. But the thing is, it’s not her real father giving the orders…
It’s his memories.
Before he died, Frost’s father uploaded his consciousness into their robot servant. But the technology malfunctioned, and now her father fades in and out. So when Frost learns that there might be medicine on the other side of the ravaged city, she embarks on a dangerous journey to save the one living creature she loves.
With only a robot as a companion, Frost must face terrors of all sorts, from outrunning the vicious Eaters…to talking to the first boy she’s ever set eyes on. But can a girl who’s only seen the world through books and dusty windows survive on her own? Or will her first journey from home be her last?
“In the middle of the bombed-out room flickered a small fire, and near it sat Frost.”
I wasn’t expecting to like this book so much. I said before in my WWW Wednesday post this past week that I’m not the biggest fan of journey-type plots, and, so far, all books with that type of formula have seemed to become my least favorite books. But, for some reason, this one impressed me. I actually found myself liking it, and this one was a stand-alone, which meant that it had a much shorter opportunity to make an impression on me, unlike series that, on average, have three.
We have Frost, our main character who has always wanted to see the world, and her robot servant, Bunt (who also carries the memory and personality of her father, Alex). I loved Frost. She’s this sweet, slightly naive girl who has a heart of gold, and it’s a sort of breath of fresh air from the classic “badass heroine” that most books these days are adopting. Frost isn’t a huge fighter and she’s not super smart (but she’s not dumb either), but she could easily be any one of us, and I think that’s what makes her so relatable. It makes me definitely understand why this book was compared to Cinder (despite the robot comparisons) – Meyer’s books also have great heroines that don’t do super special things, but are still special to us as readers. And don’t even talk to me about Bunt. He was a robot, but he had ~feelings~ and he cared so much about the well-being of Frost, and that’s what made him such a great side-kick.
We also have Flynn and Barrow, who are side characters who assist on the journey to help Frost to the Battery to help Romes, her adorable broot. Of course, Flynn was the love interest – we can’t have a YA book without one! – but I actually enjoyed his character! I wouldn’t go and put him on my list of Book Boyfriends or anything, but it was nice to see a character who was broody and had a dark past not be this suave bad boy, but someone who appreciates a girl who has hope. He has real feelings and thoughts and he acts like a real boy, if that makes any sense whatsoever, in a YA world where the love interests seem to be limited to their archetypes. And Barrow, his father, who reminded me of a combination between Rick and Glenn, both characters on The Walking Dead. So, of course, I loved him.
For those who really hate romance involved in genres that aren’t contemporary, I highly suggest this for you. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves, and I didn’t really mind the romance between Frost and Flynn. Did I think it was necessary? Definitely not. But was it sort of cute and nice to watch unfold? Sure. It wasn’t really developed that much because of some ~events~ I refuse to spoil about, but it wasn’t annoying in my eyes, so it gets a thumbs up from me!
I loved the setting of this dystopian world. It’s basically a wasteland where Eaters (who are more cannibals than zombies, since they’re not dead) and robots roam, where the Good John Lord (who reminded me of the Governor from TWD) rules a creepy cult, where people cruelly torture those who they kidnap, making them kill broots and suffer under the pain of being whipped and hit. This was such a surprisingly dark read, especially since the cover is so beautiful and the book premise seemed so light, which was quite apparent from the first few pages.
I had some problems with the pacing, though. As I’ve said multiple times, I don’t really like journey stories, and for the first 100 or so pages, I really wasn’t into this one at all. I will say, it did take a while to get back into the groove of things – I’ve been reading a lot of mysteries and thrillers lately, and I rate those more objectively than I do with YA novels, which I usually rate not only objectively, but based on my feels – and once it got to Part 3, I was really excited to see where things went and enjoyed the darker turn the story took. The plot doesn’t really have many curveballs thrown in it – it’s basically what you would expect as soon as you’ve read it – but it’s still entertaining enough.
I also really enjoyed the ending of this one. It was so heartfelt and sweet and made me smile a little. I will warn you, it is open-ended, which I know is a deal-breaker for some people, but some of my favorite stand-alones, such as Eleanor and Park and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock held the same fate, but I loved those as well. I guess it all depends on personal opinion.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one, and I recommend to those who love sci-fi and dystopian with a bit of darkness and heart.
Have you read this book? Any thoughts about it?