Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Icons by Margaret Stohl

Dol and Ro live a simple life on the plains surrounding the Hole, the remnants of a once great and powerful city that is dominated by the Icon that perches on the ruins of the observatory.  The Icon has been there for years a constant and powerful reminder of the day it dropped from the sky and snuffed out the life of every living thing in its shadow.  For some reason Dol survived the power of the Icon, and she is still immune to its power which makes her a very valubale tool for those who know what she might be capable of.  For years the Padre has kept her hidden and safe, Ro too, but that safety ends when the Sympa soldiers invade their sanctuary and drag Dol away.  Dol is terrified not only on the Sympa soldiers, but also that she might be discovered - because she and Ro both hide a shared secret.  On the inside of their wrists are a simple tattoo, tattoos that allow them to connect on a level that some would consider too intimate and unsettling.

When they are brought into the tender loving care of the Ambassador they soon discover that they are not alone, there are others with the same marks - including the Ambassadors son Lucas.  It is a confusing time for all of them but Dol feels more than confused, she also feels torn and conflicted because she loves Ro like a brother but he wants more - and she quickly discovers that her heart wants Lucas.  For the four teeangers immune to the power of the Icons there is a terrifying future for them, they are the only ones with the potential to destroy the Icons and stop the Lords.  That potential is just that though, potential, and if they fail then the price could be more than they are willing and able to pay.  In a world where nothing is as it seems Dol may have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save a city that doesn't even know she exists.

Icons is impossible to put down and is so addictive the pages almost seem to turn themselves.  The action is carefully paced to keep you fully absorbed in the story without dragging you down with too much frivolous description or story points.  At more than 400 pages this is not a small book but it doesn't feel that big, the chapters carefully inter spaced with other material that enriches the story but at the same time acts as a buffer between action scenes allowing you to pace through the story rather than racing through it.  The tension and character development are carefully balanced to create what could almost be the prefect read - one of the best books of the year so far, and one of the best books I have read in recent years.  The story is so well put together that it was difficult to review as the best parts are the surprises (and you really don't want to give them away!)

Icons was an explosive start for a new series that blends together some of the best elements of the science fiction and thriller genres, with just a dash of the dystopian.  Stohl has a great writing style and it is easy to slip into the characters and their motivations, and it is all too easy to picture the world of our future where the Lords have arrived and taken over.  It is all too easy to see this series on the big screen, it reads like a movie script and it feels as though Stohl has considered the screen play and how it might play out on the screen in the way she has staged some of the story (particularly the action scenes) but that doesn't detract from the excellent-ness that is Icon.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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