Saturday, February 4, 2012

Recommended for Post-Apocalyptic Romantics

Pros: I love a good post-apocalyptic story
Cons: Reading it as a 28-year-old (which I was at the time)
The Bottom Line: Aria and Perry make for a very unique couple, and in a world that reminds me of Ergo Proxy, I'm totally game.

I won’t lie.  I judge books by their covers.  When we first got this in the back room at the bookstore, I sort of wrote it off.  Another “tough girl” teen story.  Whatever.  Out of curiosity, I eventually read the back.  Mm.  Interesting.  Later on I peeked inside at a few pages.  Finally I decided I might as well just take the ARC (advance reading copy) and read it.  Author Veronica Rossi also has an extra bit for you – her book has already been optioned by Warner Brothers.  Jackpot, Ms. Rossi.

Aria has been framed.  Now she’s been thrown out of the safety of the protective dome city she’s lived in all her life.  Into a world that can kill her in a staggering number of ways.

Perry has just lost his nephew to Aria’s people.  Those he calls Moles because they don’t live out in the open anymore.  He vows to get his nephew back at any cost.

The two must team up together in order to get what they want.  But it will mean trusting each other and staying alive in the desolate world – including staying clear of the violent aether that flows in the skies above and the storms that it creates which scorch the ground black.

One of the big things that drew me into this book was the description Rossi offers.  The desolate landscape, the individual domes that exist throughout the world.  The people that struggle to live outside of them.  It reminded me of the anime Ergo Proxy.  And while there were no proxies running around and Rossi’s sky is filled with powerful energy flows called aether, that sort of thing still really intrigues me.  It’s the strange part of the future world where you wonder – where did it come from?  Is it truly everywhere?  And how does it relate to the skills of some of the characters?  Questions, questions…

Another thing I liked is just how different Aria and Perry were from one another.  Usually people, even in many stories like these, remain people.  Perry, however, is a lot more feral.  Because of this, Aria and Perry basically hated each other, which I haven’t seen in a while either.  They both thought of one another as total freaks, and for a while I started to wonder how on earth Rossi was going to bridge such a wide gap between the two (because you basically knew they were going to hook up at some point).  But I liked that gap.

When it comes to all the other post-apocalyptic/dystopian stories out there, this one is a bit set apart in that everything takes place outside of the "perfect society" location - in a place where the environment will straight-up kill you and people scrape by on practically nothing. I liked the atmosphere – and the aether. It’s a good time and has a lot of unique points going for it.  There’s a surprisingly anti-climactic part near the end which, because of its anti-climactic design, is quite nice.  It does, however, end in a way that heralds the door to the next two books in the trilogy.

My con up there is because this is a teen book, and for some reason I tend to start out thinking of my characters as kids, like 15 or 16 (sometimes younger) even if they’re not.  Aria and Perry are 17 or 18, and Perry is a tough, feral kind of guy.  Yet during this book I kept thinking of him as younger and not all that wild until Aria saw him do some badass stuff.  I was in the 14-15 range, and the name Perry didn’t help either (no offense to guys named Perry.  It just didn’t come off as tough – even if his name is officially Peregrine).

But that’s my own fault.  Funny enough, while reading thing I thought, “This would be cool as a movie,” and then remembered that it’s going to be (or at least, Warner Bros has their hands on it).  I hope they do a good casting job whenever they finally get around to it.

So read this for yourself, or wait until the other books are out and then read it so you don’t have to wait.  Either way, I might have to go see the movie while I wait.  If it exists by then, anyway.


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Notes from the playlist: "Seven Lives" by In Strict Confidence

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