This was free in the Amazon Kindle store and I thought it looked pretty cool, so I downloaded it a few months ago. Despite being just 369 pages long, it took me a shockingly long time to read…
Ariana is now a citizen of Novo, where only the fittest humans were transported after the near-destruction of planet Earth. From very early on, we are introduced to Zane through Ari’s dreams – but she has no idea who he is, or why she can see him in her sleep. We don’t discover Zane’s identity until much further through the book.
A matchmaking system is set up for all eligible young people, taking the name of “The Calling.” Ari realises her feelings for the popular Cal Remus, and is luckily given the opportunity to be matched with him. The whole deal with “The Calling” reminds me very much of books such as The Selection and Matched.
Things seem to be going pretty well (despite the fact that Ariana is appalled at the way the government is choosing who can love who) until Ariana’s father disappears and leaves behind some vital information. Suddenly, Ari isn’t sure whether Cal can really be trusted, and Zane is beginning to contact her directly through her mind.
A small section of this book takes place back on Earth, told from Zane’s perspective. He’s working for an underground resistance movement, and is still infatuated with Ariana. He gets training to try and help him communicate with her, and Ariana’s father has bestowed a dying wish upon him; to keep Ari away from Cal.
Things get pretty complicated, and the love triangle is both predictable and not at the same time. Ari doesn’t remember how much she loved Zane, but can sense that there was some emotion there. Cal’s father is clearly opposed to his son being associated with Ariana, and is also a despicable man in himself. There are even hints as to Cal being untrustworthy, which was something I didn’t actually expect.
It’s kind of a typical dystopian YA novel, but it does have some good twists. My main problem was with the lack of time-keeping; I couldn’t tell whether things happened over a course of a few days or multiple months. Even if the time-frame was specified in some places, it still didn’t feel like it passed in the intended way.
Another thing is that the characters spoke in a rather unnatural language. Extravagant words were unnecessarily used, coupled with overly-simple phrases. It just sounded wrong.
It took me a long time to read a relatively short book, which is always a bad sign. It wasn’t painfully hard to read, but I wasn’t really begging to read on either. That being said, I read a little into the first chapter of the sequel, Beyond Reach, which is included at the end of this ebook, and I am rather curious as to what’s going on. Still, I don’t know if I’m willing to spend any money on it.
So this wasn’t a great book, but it wasn’t bad. Some parts felt as though the author was trying a bit too hard to make the book seem more professional, which always irritates me. I think 2.5 stars is an appropriate rating for this.