by Margaret Stohl
Age Range: 12 and up
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Your heart beats only with their permission.
Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.
Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.
She's different. She survived. Why?
When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.
Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions -- which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses -- may actually be their greatest strengths.
At a Glance:
So I know this is a book that isn't going to appeal to everyone. It's nothing at all like Beautiful Creatures. It's a slower, more complicated, strange and sometimes confusing book, but I really liked it. I loved the writing, the story, and all the characters. And it was so completely different than anything else I've read.
Thirteen structures from outer space, known as The Icons, decended on the earth, wiping out huge populations with just an simple electro-magnetic pulse. No one really seems to know how they got here, where they came from, who controls them, or what they really want. When they came, they killed everyone who was near. Now anytime anyone gets too close, they immediately drop dead.
The Icon Children:
Dol, Ro, Tima and Lucas were a strange and interesting bunch of characters to read about. Dol and Ro are survivors of The Day, the invasion of The Lords. They each have powerful emotions that surpass what normal humans feel, leaning more toward the supernatural. The Ambassador and her Sympas, the people who are basically working for The Lords, capture Dol and Ro, and bring them to the Embassy, though we're not sure what their motivations are. There they meet Tima and Lucas, two more Icon children, and try to figure out why they are different, what the Embassy wants, and if they have the power to take down the Icons.
I found this entire premise incredibly fascinating. I thought Margaret Stohl did an awesome job of creating an ominous feeling throughout the book. Especially the inclusion of the Rebellion's pamphlets, strange autopsy reports, and mysterious correspondences. Her writing was really fantastic, and the world-building felt real.
A Subtle Romance:
There was a bit of a love square happening in this one, but it definitely didn't interfere with the plot at all. I thought that Dol, Ro, Lucas, and Tima seemed a little young for their seventeen years at times, but this didn't bother me, it was just something I noted. As far as the romance goes, I loved the subtlety of it. There are moments when things that you wouldn't normally think would be romantic, just are in this book, almost sensual, but at the same time, not at all. It was at the same time intense, and innocent. I just really liked it.
On the Downside:
I do think this is a book that a lot of people just won't connect with. It's different. It kind of had the feel that Pure by Julianna Baggot had, for me. I loved it, but I get why you might not. It's more maturely written than many YA books out there, it's not full of heavy romance, there are things that are just strange, the writing is sometimes poetic, sometimes vague. But for me, it clicked. And I hope it will for you too!
Pure by Julianna Baggott, I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (I've heard The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, though I haven't read it yet.)
- Sexual Content: Mild
- Profanity: Mild
- Violence: Moderate