In a dystopian future, the former state of Alaska is now home to what remains of humanity. Teenagers undergo The Proving, a dangerous selection process to determine who will have the honor of becoming Bound, whose lifelong duty it will be to ensure mankind’s continued survival and not repeat the egregious mistakes of humanity’s past. Rising follows the story of nine of these teens as they step into the proverbial ring.
What I loved:
The story is told through the alternating viewpoints of four of the nine teens: kindhearted Nova; handsome and brazen Kian; smart, wisecracking, cripple Dex; and tough-as-nails outsider, Wren. Sloan did a great job making all of these characters diverse, with their own voices and mannerisms.
It’s when The Proving starts that the story really gets going. It’s a brutal world, and these tests are not for the squeamish – I expected several twists and turns, and was not disappointed. The dystopian world created by Sloan was well-realized and exceptionally well-written.
What I didn’t love:
The first quarter of the book moved quite slowly, and involved a fair amount of info-dumping. While I did enjoy the inclusion of Wren, the outsider, in the fold, there were times when she seemed to know everything about everything, incapable of making a mistake, which felt unrealistic to me.
My Final Verdict:
If you gravitate towards YA dystopian fantasies like the Divergent series, then Rising should be right up your alley. The characters are relatable enough to identify with, and there is more than enough action, tension, and plot twists to keep you satisfied when you’ve turned the final page.