By: J.M. Bambenek
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
This story centers around a teen girl, Aubrey Adams, living in the last days of the earth as they know it. Some cataclysmic future event is set to destroy the topography of earth and Aubrey, her family and friends are trying to survive the new world order and cement for themselves a place in the new underground society yet to come…
I wanted to love this story. I usually do love YA stuff (even though I’m 52). But, I didn’t love this one. I didn’t hate it either. But, it left me with a lot of questions and a lot of apathy as to whether I got the answers or not.
The beginning of the story is somewhat confusing and chaotic. In the beginning scenes, Aubrey is involved in some sort of car accident that puts her in the hospital for a while. When she leaves the hospital, she seems to suddenly decide to leave her life, home town, friends, boyfriend and others—including her own mother—and she just up and runs away. As the reader, I had no idea why. Nor did I really care. I had absolutely no connection to Aubrey.
When she comes back several years later—again, I don’t know why—she picks up with family and friends almost as if she hadn’t left. The only difference is that now her home town is under military law and world is at war.
THAT left me with many of the questions I spoke of earlier. Why was there a war going on? Readers are led to believe that countries all over the world were preparing to build underground communities (capable of housing only a small percentage of the world’s population). Why would they allow themselves to be side tracked by wars? Especially if the military was busy keeping the peace with martial law. There are bombing scenes and attack scenes and yet neither scenarios are fleshed out well. I don’t know who was bombing whom. I didn’t know why.
I don’t know. There wasn’t enough information about the big stuff and way too much information about what I considered small stuff. There was an opportunity to make something exciting out of the mystery presented concerning Aubrey’s dad (no spoilers coming from me, sorry). But, it was just not explored enough. I was left feeling…indifferent about it all.
I did like the idea of the female lead character—but, she wasn’t strong enough or decisive enough; she wasn’t courageous. For the most part, she stood around waiting for her boyfriend to save her. The problem is, he didn’t have any of the right characteristics either. He too was weak and confused. The two of them just blew around from one situation to the next like a couple of tumbleweeds. I saw that as a missed opportunity all the way around.
I will say that the author’s word crafting skills were excellent. I was never pulled away from the story by bad grammar or wordiness or sluggishness in the story. In today’s self-publishing world, that kind of thing happens a lot. I did not find that here. The author did a great job of self-editing. For me, the story moved along on a pretty steady pace. It just never seemed to be going anywhere.
I gave this story a 3-star rating. Wish I could have gone higher.