Obviously, this is a book review blog. I mostly read Young Adult books, but I try to branch out every once and a while as well!
With a cover like that, I had high expectations for this book. Unfortunately, I was left with a sort of "meh" feeling. While I didn't hate it, I didn't love it either. For me, there were some things that worked, some things that didn't, and some things I just wasn't sure about.
First off, let me say that this is more of a survival story than a Science Fiction. There are definitely some Sci-Fi elements to it, but, as far as I see it, the story was far more focused on surviving on one planet, which was mostly earth-like, than trekking through the galaxy. I'm not saying that the book isn't a Science Fiction, the Science Fiction was definitely there, I just found it as more of survival story.
Often, I find that a story is only as good as it's characters, and I'd say this book reflects that idea pretty well. I found myself liking Tarver quite a lot. I liked his backstory, I liked his attitude, I liked how he was written. I felt as if he reacted to situations much as a normal person in his situation would. As for Lilac, she was another "meh" for me. I didn't hate her, but I definitely didn't like her. It was more of a casual dislike. I didn't despise every decision she ever made, and sometimes I even admired the decisions she made, but generally, I didn't like her that much. I didn't feel any reason to really sympathize for her. It wasn't until the very end of the book that I found some reason that could have made me understand her a bit more. I understand that the authors may not have wanted Lilac to reveal this to Tarver, but I think they should have taken advantage of the split POV to reveal something of it so Lilac could have been better understood.
One thing that I do have to complement this book is that I was never bored for a second. While the plot may not have been what I expected, it still managed to keep me entertained. I thought the plot was quite inventive, and there aren't many things like it out today, at least as far as I'm aware. It was nice to have a change of pace.
What I look for in a book, above all things, is for it to make me feel something, whether that be joy, anger, sadness, or anything else. Unfortunately, this book failed to do that. It wasn't necessarily poorly written, or poorly paced, it just didn't make me feel anything towards it. I finished the book feeling merely indifferent. Maybe this book just didn't strike a chord with me. This book could be a masterpiece that deserves nothing but praise or adoration, but I just didn't get it.
Three out of Five Stars