Review Detail3.5 3
From the very beginning, I sensed that I was going to have some serious trouble with this particular read. Very early on, Mia, who suffers from insomnia, manages to fall asleep. She wakes up in the middle of the night to see a boy standing over her bed holding a knife. He drops the knife, picks it up and leaves, all while she watches. Then SHE GOES BACK TO SLEEP. Not what I would do but she thought it was a nightmare, so okay. In the morning when she wakes up, she notices a cut in the floor right where the dream dropped a knife AND SHE STILL THINKS IT WAS A NIGHTMARE. This may be a small point, but I really could not get past it, and it's a perfect example of why I could not relate to Mia.
Normally, I really identify with main characters that are outcasts, because I know what that feels like. Maybe if there had been a bit more background about Mia and her family I would feel more attached. As it is, I was just frustrated by her inability to put things together. Realizing she was NOT dreaming takes her forever, even though it was INCREDIBLY obvious to me (and I really don't think that's a spoiler, since there was a cut in the freaking floor).
Another example is that, as all of the paranormal business gets explained to her, they keep mentioning a quality she has in excess but other people have somewhat. I swear it takes her like a hundred pages to figure out where that power came from, when I totally thought we all knew from the beginning and it hadn't been stated explicitly because it was so obvious no one needed to. About a hundred pages later, she has another revelation that was clearly the plot of the novel. The main character should not be so incredibly shocked to learn things on page 300 that I knew on page 25.
None of the other characters felt especially real to me, either. The one we get closest to is Jeremy, who is described as looking "like a European underwear model," except for the Clark Kent glasses he wears to hide his "beautifully tortured blue eyes." When I read those bits, I rolled my eyes so hard it hurt. Why can't Jeremy just be an attractive, real person? Why does he have to look like an underwear model, specifically European? What are beautifully tortured eyes? None of the other characters really seemed to have much depth to me, though, to be fair, there's a reason Mia's mom is catatonic through to much of it.
Then there are the cults. They're fascinating and terrifying, yes, but I feel like I don't really know anything about them. The Prophet's crew reminds me of the church in True Blood. They're crazy, and they don't require too much of a mental leap to imagine, but I'm having real trouble with the Seekers. It would be one thing if they formed to combat the crazies in white, but they came from some prophecy from yesteryear. How did they know? And how did they maintain interest for so long?
That's one thing I wonder about. The powers are seriously cool, and fortune-telling certainly is one of them. What I wonder, though, is where the heck these powers came from. Am I supposed to see them as coincidental? Is there some sort of god granting the powers? I just don't know.
Something else I would really like to know: WHAT'S HAPPENING IN NOT L.A.? L. A has a devestating earthquake, thousands die, and no one comes to help? The rest of the country just leaves the city to die of starvation and to be taken over by a crazy cult? I don't have much faith in humanity particularly, but I'm pretty sure their would be support from the government, like food and aid workers, unless there was drama going down elsewhere too. There is no mention of this, though. What's going on?
As you can see, I was left with more questions than anything. The concept here is great. Bosworth's writing definitely shows promise, and she definitely had a style to her syntax. I also really appreciate that she did not shy away from touchy subjects. Though this came out as a resounding meh for me, I am definitely not writing Bosworth off completely. There was enough good here, in the concept and writing, to give her another chance. I hope to find her next book a bit more well-planned.
Seriously guys, do not judge this one off of me alone, because I know other folks really enjoyed it. Just because I wasn't impressed, doesn't mean you won't be blown away by it.