Monday 8 December 2014

Book Review: New World: Rising by Jennifer Wilson

Title: New World: Rising 
Author: Jennifer Wilson Publisher: 
New World: Rising print
Date Released: Out now!!Synopsis: Since witnessing her parents’ murders at the age of eleven, Phoenix’s only purpose in life has been to uphold her mother’s dying words- to be strong and survive. But surviving outside of The Walls- outside of The Sanctuary- is more like a drawn-out death sentence. A cruel and ruthless city, Tartarus is run by the Tribes whose motto is simple, “Join or die.” Refusing to join and determined to live, Phoenix fights to survive in this savage world. Trusting no one, she lives as a rogue, fending only for herself. Then in a moment of rash judgment, she breaks all of her rules to save a child, and in that moment her life is turned upside down. When the rescue mission goes awry, Phoenix is captured by an underground group who claims no allegiance with either the Tribes nor The Sanctuary. She finds herself in the most dangerous game of survival she has ever played. In her captivity, only one person- the handsome and oddly sympathetic Triven- shows Phoenix something she has never before experienced: kindness. While warring with unfamiliar emotions and still skeptical of her captors' motives, Phoenix quickly realizes that these people may just hold the key to her lost memories. But who can she trust, when no one can be trusted? Not even herself.

Review:  I think with any dystopian novel we all know where we stand. There are certain elements and frameworks that are always in place, and its then the world that’s built around it that makes it what it is. Here we have Tartarus, which even the name I love, because of its Greek Mythology connections - it was used as a prison for the Titans. And that’s exactly what it was for everyone that was there, a prison, a underworld. I loved the idea of the division and one that is so closely connected, the Sanctuary, held up in its grandeur, and unknown to everyone outside it and Tartarus, forced the survive whatever the cost. The setting became more realistic to me, and you can almost imagine yourself scurrying across rooftops. 

As ever, time for a bit of cover love! The green pops out at you, and the city itself is really implicit and feeds the imagination (unless I just have a really vivid imagination) and the way Phoenix is drawn into that is great. For me it has that old America, Gotham sot of vibe, and I hope a similar style is kept on the next books. The inclusion of diary drawings, made it feel a little like a diary, and it was great that I actually had a point of illustration from the get go so characters formed in my head, without having to adds reams of description, and leaving us to get on with the action.  

As with most hero’s or heroines , there is a dark and troubled past and phoenix is no different, and this is used to bring a strength and independence to her character, and it was nice that we could see her use this, both on her own and as part of a group. Her character was able to build walls and break them down, and that whole on the edge kind of feeling as to what she would do kept a good game going. It was also good to be able to see the split in these worlds, from her independent lifestyle to being part of a ‘society’ and how the characters operated within them. I do hope we get to explore some of the briefly mentioned characters, like the Healer, later on.

In a lot of ways, phoenix and the rest of the characters, from Arden to Maddox and Triven were set in specific ways of their convention, and this gave it a level of predictability. They were good characters that played their parts, but it felt like I knew their parts early on. That said, there was a lot in here, and some of the ccharacterizationsand the short swift retorts used made the dialogue flow really nicely, gave it a good pace and broke up the dark overhang, so there were some great comical moments when I was laughing along.

And then there was Mouse...who was my favourite character! What was beautiful about her character was the way she interacted and influenced others without even talking. I had such a high level of care for her, that I could empathise, and feel the same as Phoenix did toward her as I read along.  She made you laugh and cry, and ohh and aww, and that was a very powerful tool in this book. It made it more than just another fighting story, it gave it real heart. Though there was enough action to please all as well.

As with many dystopian books I’ve read, it’s left it on a cliff-hanger, which is soooo annoying! Not in a bad way, but more of in the ‘I really want to know what happens next, why isn’t this book longer’ sort of way, which is a hard emotion to convey in one facial expression! I want to know more about the place and the thing that happens at the end (see no spoilers, I’ve been good) and I’m excited to find out about these.

This was a very good New find, and a great New series (sorry I stop with the terrible puns only I probably get) and I look forward to the revolution! 

Click HERE, for an awesome interview with the author herself! 


Anonymous said...

Sounds SO good!

Unknown said...

The first thing I thought when I saw that cover: "Is that Spike Spiegel?"


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