by Margaret Stohl
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Excerpt: Yes | Book Trailer: Yes
Reviewed by: Kate | Source: NetGalley
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.
Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts — in order to save the future
ICONS pulled me in nearly immediately, with the fascinating premise of a futuristic world in which humanity is ruled by a group of aliens with technology that can make hearts stop. There is so much to love about the book: the vivid characters, the enticing mystery, the excellent pacing and even the small details, all well done and enjoyable to read. Full of action, tension, humor and the occasional romantic moment, ICONS has something for everybody.
Some of the better moments in ICONS were due to the great, well developed characters. Our four protagonists, Dol, Ro, Tima and Lucas all have specific abilities that stem from certain emotions, and those emotions play out in their personalities. Ro’s full name, for example, is Furo, and his abilities come from anger. He, therefore, tends to be a bit jumpy and quickly riled. Amongst the others we have Lucas, who is a bit of a goody two-shoes and Tima, who starts out rather antagonistic but mellows as the book goes on. Our narrator, Dol, is quiet and you get the impression she just wants to go back to her life in the outskirts of the city, away from all the action. But she also wants to know why she is the way she is, what she can do, and the purpose she has being alive. The four grow throughout the story, as they learn more about their origins and how they can possibly subvert the aliens’ hold on humanity. This is a big weight to put on teenagers, and they begin to change accordingly, thinking more about others instead of themselves as they get near the end of the book. Luckily, there are some characters that offer more lighthearted interactions. Fortis, the mercenary, is an especially intriguing and likable character, even if you aren’t sure you can completely trust him. And then there’s Doc, the artificial intelligence doctor at the Embassy, who really wants to be able to tell jokes.
Another aspect of ICONS that I enjoyed was that at the end of each chapter we are shown some sort of document. They included autopsy reports, memos between government officials, or pages from propaganda books, and they offered a way to show the reader more of the world than what Dol knows. The documents create a bit of tension, as well, because as we get further in the book, we start seeing information about how the aliens came to be on Earth and the possible human involvement in bringing them here. Clearly, the nearly simultaneous timing of the birth of the four teens and the entrance of the extraterrestrials on Earth is not a coincidence. Though they aren’t exactly present in the book, their presence on Earth is obviously integral to the story, and I am sure that we’ll learn more about them as the series advances.
Well written and action packed, ICONS is an awesome mashup of science fiction and dystopian with telepathic teens and alien overlords, guaranteed to make your heart race and keep you breathless on the edge of your seat. I am definitely on board with the Icons series, and I can’t believe I have to wait until 2014 for the next book.
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About the author
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