Monday, December 9, 2013

ACID by Emma Pass

For two years Jenna Strong has been the only female, and the only teenage female, in the Mileway prison.  Her crime, the cold blooded murder of her parents - and her punishment was designed to fit the crime.  In prison Jenna has built up her defences, built up her strength, and built emotional walls to protect herself from the violence and unwanted attention of the other prisoners.  When she is broken out of prison her world is turned upside down and inside out - especially when things don't go to plan for her "rescuers".  Jenna is about to embark on a roller coaster ride of dark secrets, deadly games, and a life as a pawn in a long running power play that could drive her country to wreck and ruin - or save it from an ongoing life of oppression and control.

ACID is an epic read that plays out like a deftly plotted movie - it packs together a conspiracy story, a thriller, a mystery, a little dash of romance, and the kind of twisted plot that made the original Total recall movie so enticing and convoluted.  Like many novels of this "type" a review with too many details will end up spoiling some of the plot twists and turns so the analysis is more indepth than the "review" part of the review.  Jenna is not a straight forward character, she is very "real" complete with doubts, regrets, and moments of confusion.  The dystopian world built around her is very believable, an island nation like the United Kingdom could easily become isolated in the way described in ACID, and it would be so easy for small changes over time to slowly suck away the freedom of the people in such a way that they barely notice.  It is also a very believable villain - they say absolute power corrupts absolutely and that is so true in the case of General Harvey.

ACID is a deftly written novel that keeps up the right amount of tension and pace across the whole novel - partly moved along by the use of short chapters and clear breaks in the content to help you stay focused on what is happening.  In many ways ACID reminds me of James Patteson novels, another author who uses short chapters and breaks in the story to keep the tension levels high and the reader focused.  Emma Pass is also an above average author for teens - she doesn't short change the reader by sugar coating the story or taking it easy, but there is also no gratitous violence to take it out of the reach of younger teen readers.  I was hooked after the first few pages and read most of the book in an afternoon - before having to finish it in my lunch break so I could finish the end in one sitting.  While it is easy to compare any dystopian novel to the Hunger games, ACID is one of those books that both has a strong echo of Hunger games, but is also very unlike Hunger games (not easy to describe as you can tell).

ACID is one of those books that is not gender specific - while the main character is a teenage girl, the level of action and the fast pace will also appeal to teen boys who don't like all the gooey romantic stuff.  An excellent read and I hope there are many more to come from Emma Pass.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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