Divergent meets The Hunger Games but with a fresh and highly original twist.
Sixteen-year-old Silver Melody lives in a world where 80% of the population have taken a nanite pill to alter their DNA. Some have taken on animal characteristics including wings, horns, antlers or tails while others have chosen to enhance their skills such as speed, strength or intelligence. Silver, however, is proud of her unadjusted state – which is quite something given her parents created the nanite pills. She knows only too well that DNA is power and has no intention of ever allowing anyone to change hers. When the president declares that all unadjusteds must take a nanite, Silver has no choice but to flee the city and go into hiding. Here she teams up with an unlikely group opposed to the president’s regime and is forced to revaluate her entire value system.
How do I sum up this thrilling and addictive book? Perhaps, by a comparison to two of my all-time favourite teen / young adult reads. The tension that underlines the relationship between the altered and the unadjusteds reminded me of the divided world of Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy. There are also some noticeable parallels with Suzanne Collins’s best-selling Hunger Games series. Silver and Katniss share many of the same qualities and their overarching story arch (fighting for their lives, and the lives of their friends, whilst ultimately taking on the system) are comparable. Going one step further, the vicious hellhounds on Silver’s trail are reminiscent of the mutts in the climax of The Hunger Games and I couldn’t help comparing President Bear in this book with President Snow in Suzanne Collins’s world.
This is not to say that this book is derivative. It is most definitely not. Instead, it combines everything that is good about these two hugely successful series whilst bringing a fresh and highly original twist. While I loved the concept (and I’m more than a little envious of the ‘altered’ who have wings), it’s the characterisation and gripping plot that make this book almost impossible to put down.
Silver’s first-person voice immediately draws the reader in and her appealing personality easily carries us through. It helps that we’re given such an incredible plot hook to pull us into the story. (A visceral description as Silver stands in a school corridor and watches a boy die from taking a nanite pill). This sets the tone for the rest of the book which maintains the pace of a thriller without at any time sacrificing the exceptional character development.
Silver is supported by an eclectic collection of characters, including unadjusteds and altered. It’s testament to the skill of the author, Marisa Noelle, that I was able to so easily assimilate and track such a large cast. I particularly enjoyed the love triangle between Silver, Matt and Joe and appreciated the fact that, unlike so many similar stories, this was firmly resolved by the end of the book.
If you enjoyed this and haven’t already devoured them, you should definitely read The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins or Divergent by Veronica Roth. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something that’s currently less well known, I’d strongly recommend you try either More of Me or Beauty Sleep by Kathryn Evans.
Publication Date: November 2019
Publisher: Write Plan
Author: Marisa Noelle