Friday, April 29, 2016

Book review - Tell the Wind and Fire

Title: Tell the Wind and Fire
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Genre: dystopia
Similar books: Inked by Eric Smith
                     Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
not bad, but could have been better

Summary(provided by publisher): In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.
Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised.
Lucie alone knows of the deadly connection the young men share, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.
Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

My Opinion: Magic adds a decent twist to dystopian fiction. This book asks a not entirely unexpected question: what makes a person or a thing 'good'? I liked that while it was clear that government under the Strykers was more interested in power than what was actually best for society, it is quickly apparent that the revolutionaries have similar goals in mind. They aren't interested in fixing society, simply in seizing control from the Strykers. The discerning reader will recognize the influence of A Tale of Two Cities early on, which makes the plot rather predictable. While this one addresses some interesting questions, like what makes us human, I'm not sure  those big questions are given enough attention. There is plenty of description of people and places but this is a complex world. We have two kinds of magic and a sizeable population with no magic at all but the entirety of the plot is focused on the magical power struggle. What role do the non-magicians play in society and it's ultimate fate? We don't get a clear picture of how all this magic works either. I admire an author who's willing to buck a trend and write a stand-alone dystopian novel but I really feel like this story would have benefited from being divided into two volumes so there would be more space to address all of the issues.

Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

No comments:

Post a Comment