January 14, 2017

Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith #BookReview

It is Clara who is desperate to enter the labyrinth and it is Clara who is bright, strong, and fearless enough to take on any challenge. It is no surprise when she is chosen. But so is the girl who has always lived in her shadow. Together they enter. Within minutes, they are torn apart forever. Now the girl who has never left the city walls must fight to survive in a living nightmare, where one false turn with who to trust means a certain dead end."

As a child, Caighlan Smith loved to build and navigate pillow mazes. An adoration of Greek mythology soon followed. Canadian born and raised, Smith studied English Literature and Classics at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her first novel was published when she was nineteen. The C in her name is hard, the gh silent.

First, this book surprised me. The connection to Icarus, the original myth, is pretty sparse. However, there are a few references for those looking hard enough. Secondly, this was a VERY violent book (and I say this as someone who took film classes in Horror as a college and loves to read adult horror novels). This YA novel is pretty... harsh. So be prepared fair reader.

That said, I couldn't really get into the novel. The main character read as a bit "Mary Sue" and I almost sided with some of the less sane characters of the labyrinth. She also has the story happen to her instead of driving the story, which I found frustrating. She "freezes up" at every opportunity where she COULD do something, say something, be more of a driving force in her own adventure.

I'd probably skip this novel and focus on something else. Really, if you've read Maze Runner and a few other dystopian novels this one doesn't deliver too much in the way of "new" (though some of the side characters are interesting, more so than the main character). For parents/sensitive readers: While this is considered YA (defined as 12-18yos), I would place it in the "older teen" category of YA for violence alone, somewhere in the 15+ range.

As a side note: I hope that out of ARC the editor fixes errors like "notch" instead of "nock". That also shows really poor research on the part of the author, sorry.

Book in a Pinch
It's 90% Mazerunner and 5% crazy side characters and 5% horror and less mythology than you'd expect from the name.

Go Into This One Knowing
There is a lot of violence (both normal horroresque and the more real-life type). However, that doesn't make up for it being overall a not-so-great re-vamp of Mazerunner (and House of Stairs, and a horde of other maze-dystopian novels) that lacks the Greek flare it claims in its title.

"All opinions are 100% honest and my own." 

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