Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Book Review: Icons by Margaret Stohl

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.

“I am powerful because of who and what I am. Not because of who I am not.” 

Icons is a quick, enjoyable read that kept me very entertained but didn’t blow me away.

Alien invasion novels are the new big thing in YA literature and Icons has stepped up to join the others that have already been released this year. In Icons we do not get to meet the aliens that have taken over and I felt like the otherworldly aspect was really played down which will work for some readers but not for others. I didn’t really mind but I felt like the end of the world could have come from anything and I would have liked to have seen a little more input from the little green men.

Icon is a good dystopian but it stays within the popular parameters of the Genre. There is a

corrupt government, a rebellion, a love triangle and teenagers that are the answer to fixing the end of the world. In short it did nothing that we haven’t seen before.

The storyline itself is good and does throw up a few small surprises. It was interesting and well put together and I was entertained all the way through it. The writing was also good and Stohl’s world building was strong and creative.

The characters were decent enough but I didn’t really fall in love with any of them. Dol was a bit boring and sappy. Ro and Lucus were a little too similar in personality to Gale and Peta from The Hunger Games. The most interesting one was Tima, she had some depth to her.

The love triangle didn’t really work for me either. I couldn’t really understand how Dol went from loving one guy to practically forgetting him and then going off with the other one so easily. The one she leaves feels betrayed and I honest cannot blame him.

Icons is a good dystopian YA, it didn’t blow my mind but I enjoyed it and will read the next one in the series.

3 stars

 Published May 7th 2013 by HarperVoyager in the UK & Published May 7th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readersin the US.  Free copy was provided for review.  Images courtesy of Goodreads.

Review by Kate Phillips

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