This is a review I should have written ages ago, but for some reason I got lazy (it’s summer people, let me be). So I’m coming with it to you now! I recently wrote about this book in my ARCstravangaza post, but now it’s time to get to the nitty gritty!
I present to you:
A Great Canadian Apocalyptic Adventure
Ft. Aliens, District 13, and Beauty & the Beast
Zero Repeat Forever by G.S Prendergast
He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.
Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.
His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.
Until a human kills her…
Sixteen year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade, annihilating entire cities, taking control of the Earth. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her friends have only a fragment of instruction from the human resistance.
Shelter in place.
Which seems like good advice at first. Stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless but what choice does she have?
Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.
Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other…
*ARC was provided through a Goodreads giveaway. My review is all honesty and contains no brainwashed info whatsoever!*
This was a great book. I honestly didn’t expect it to go exactly as it did. Firstly, I didn’t know it was set in Canada!! What???? Yeah. Usually, Canada is like never mentioned in any dystopias or it was sucked under the rule of the UK or merged with the US. I loved that this book strayed away from that. SO what was this book? Crazy, dizzying and a well-rounded “If it were real, Rendz would probs wet her pants” adventure!
What I Liked
Raven: Raven was not your typical “hero” character. She was a “troubled youth” to put it in words. She was working in a camp as her community service for a crime she committed with her group of friends. After suffering through the death of her boyfriend Tucker, she finds herself a bit lost. She deals with a lot during her time in this perilous world. She goes through a lot of inner turmoil, thinking about her past actions, her family, her decisions, her racial identity, death. A whole lot of death. Did I enjoy reading from her perspective? Yes. Sometimes her action/words would rub me the wrong way, but I understand her reasoning for them.
Eighth: Cinnamon Roll. Cinnamon Roll. Cinnamon Roll. He was an interesting character to read from for two very cool reasons. One. He has such a pure conscious, for someone who is supposed to murder people in cold blood. He is a gentle creature. He knows what he does is wrong, but doesn’t know why! Two. He thinks and feels. He is bullied because of those things and eventually he rebels. His rebellion leads him to Raven and for once his good nature is appreciated instead of ridiculed. (Well…after she stops thinking of him as a predator) He is still rather mysterious and deals with an identity crisis too, but honestly: Cinnamon Roll.
Side characters were not all that important to me. I hated Topher. Let’s just put that out in the open. I didn’t even really liked Tucker. Others were not as important but they do serve for a lot of death.
Sign Language: What I really liked about this book was that the Nahx (aliens) communicated in sign language. And as the reader, there would be descriptions of their actions which communicated what they were saying. There were of course the actual words being spoken in sign written in the book, but I found it fascinating that the signs were being explained for the reader to visualize! Plus, that was the only way Eighth could communicate with Raven so the readers learned alongside her.
Canada and District 13: As mentioned, this book is set in Canada specifically Alberta (I am going to assume). The characters do travel to Calgary for a time and stay there for a while. The city isn’t really explored, I just liked seeing the name of a city I actually knew (although I’ve never been there.) Classic patriotic Rendz. Also, there is a part in the book that was reminiscent of District 13 from The Hunger Games. It was an underground haven, where people would ration food, train to be soldiers if possible and where a grey-haired lady ran the whole show! Sound familiar? Considering the similarities in the set, it is still quite different because this “District 13” was in no shape able to defeat the oppressor.
Beauty and the Beast Elements: This is not a B&B retelling, rather it has those classic elements that keep the reader hooked. The sharp and witty beauty, living with this mysterious and rather temperamental beast. Both sides knowing nothing and walking circles around each other at first, until they finally grow to understand each other. No talking furniture though. Bummer.
Romance: Very little. This story is more of a build up of the relationship between Eighth and Raven, so smooching factors low. I mean Raven does have relationships with others but in now way, shape or form would I ever count those as romantic. Eighth is a hopeless romantic sap (like me) and Raven is not. Plus she is mourning the death of a boyfriend, so making her open up is about 400 pages in time.
Action Packed and a very Twisty Ending: It does have quite a bit of action and suspense. It doesn’t all happen at once and is spaced out within the novel, so while in some areas it’s a bit dry in other it’s more “omgomgomgomgomg”. This is a book on survival, so the characters are running (for their lives) a lot. Was not expecting the ending at all. But I had my suspicions….
Seasonal Divisions: This book is split up into 4 parts, one for each season. And what I love about it is that Summer and Spring are literally 1/4 the size of what Autumn and Winter are! It was an excellent formatting decision. The hardest and most grueling part of the year being the cold season were the longest and held the most trauma, while the warm season had the lighter and more pleasant (though not all pleasant) events! Plus if we’re being honest Winter in Canada is about four times longer than Summer! XD
What I Disliked
200 pages Before I Actually Got Sucked In: The first 200 pages were really just not cutting it for me. Raven and her group were either walking to a near death encounter or in the “District 13” doing nothing, while Eighth was just walking and slowly (ever so slowly) abandoning his unit. After those 200 pages however, the pace really picks up and far much more fun and interesting things begin to happen! Trust me, just get through the first 200 pages and then you’re golden.
No Backstory: I was hoping for more backstory on Raven’s part. I don’t know why she is a “troubled youth” and the crime that was so shameful. I got her family history (kind of), but I was hoping for more from her to understand her inner dilemmas. As for Eighth, there are *reasons* for his lack of backstory so understandable.
Overall, it was a great book. Really fun to read and it definitely has a great cliff hanger. *Death, death, death!!!* Just a hint! I can’t wait for the next novel, but alas I have to wait over a year!!!! *Cries* ALSO COVER AND TITLE EPIPHANIES. HOLY CANNOLI! When the light bulb when off in my head for the title I was like “yesssss” and for the cover I was like “Yaaaaaaaaaaassssssssssssssss”.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Recommend: Yup. Yup. Yup. Apocalypse for the win.
This book comes out August 29th, 2017 so be sure to check it out!
What do you think are your chances of surviving a not so friendly alien invasion? I’m curious! If you want a chance to have a read of this book I *believe* there are copies available to request on NetGalley (Can/US/UK/AUS)!