Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tremain's Book Corner: "Alive" by Scott Sigler

Alive (Generations Trilogy #1)
Author: Scott Sigler
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Summary: A young woman awakes trapped in an enclosed space.  She has no idea who she is or how she got there.  With only her instincts to guide her, she escapes her own confinement - and finds she's not alone.  She frees the others in the room and leads them into a corridor filled with the remains of a war long past.  The father these survivors travel, the worse are the horrors they confront.  And as they slowly come to understand what this prison is, they realize that the worst and strangest possibilities they could have imagined don't even come close to the truth. 

Personal Review: I've read Sigler's books in the past, and this offered something different, yet familiar, as it has elements of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner in one story...or I suppose the start of a trilogy.  That begin said, although I didn't care too much for the Divergent trilogy, this first entry was good (although I did have to dock it a little in the my personal rating for reminding me of previous dystopian reads).

You open in a mystery, much like the Maze Runner, but this time a female is the protagonist, who (oddly enough) is a 12-year-old in the body of a 20-year-old...okay.  She wakes up in a coffin-like prison, frees herself, and then does the same for other characters before then being declared the leader of the group.

The writing style took some getting used to for me, as I found it to be a tad bit choppy in its flow, characterization, and setting the scenes, but when you look at it from a YA standpoint in which it was written, I could look past that.

Despite some minor flaws, this book was a welcomed departure from Sigler's standard form of writing about sci-fi monsters and what not, but I enjoy a story where characters are placed in a confined space and left struggling to determine what is going on...and then what's "really" going on.  The author does a great job at giving you breadcrumbs along the way, propelling you forward until you reached the end to get the answers and offering a great conclusion to the first novel of the trilogy.

Without being a true adult fan of YA reads, I was pleasantly surprised by this novel for keeping my attention from start to finish.  Plus, the thing about YA reads is simple...they're much easier and quicker to read.  I mean, with an opening of youth waking up in a coffin, and not knowing why...that's somewhat more of a morbid start than waking up in a Glade.  Give me the Glade over a coffin any day.

The author uses his strengths from his adult novels and translates them well to this YA read in which he offers you a sense of immediacy and physical details to pull you in as a reader, and then the action just never lets up.  Although it may be a bit intense for some teen readers at times, I did appreciate the fact Sigler didn't get bogged down with the teen romance element, which will help to pull in more adult readers...I mean do we really care to read about high school romances all the time?  Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, turned it into a dust rag, and tossed it away.

I would highly recommend this title to fans of dystopian future genre novels, and stating it is a book about a group of teens in a dystopian situation is much too simplistic for describing it.  It basically asks you how far you would go if mortality was an option, and I"m interested to continue on in the series.  Find it at your Abilene Public Library and see what you think about might just be the new "unknown" series you were looking for.

BTW, the second book is due out in April, titled "Alight" and the third novel will be titled "Alone."

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