Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Book Review of Pawn by Ernie Lindsey

Goodreads Summary: The world ended long before Caroline Mathers was born, but that doesn’t mean life stops for the fourteen-year-old army scout for the People’s Republic of Virginia. Abandoned by her parents, raised by her grandfather, she slinks through the forests surrounding her encampment, monitoring the woods for nomadic bands of criminals known as Republicons, all while keeping a watchful eye on her northern enemies from the Democratic Alliance.
It’s a hard life, but a simple one, at least until the day Caroline hears the sound that everyone dreads: distant drums echoing throughout their quiet valley, pounding to the beat of the war rhythm. With some help from two unlikely allies, Caroline leads her people in a breathtaking retreat, praying they’ll find salvation in their capital city. Along the way, haunting dreams may reveal a look into her mystifying past.

The first book of the Warchild series is a powerful, coming of age, dystopian thriller full of fast-paced action, tragic choices, and the undeniable strength of the human bond.

Goodreads Rating: 3.90 stars with 187 ratings
Genre Listing: Young adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy, Paranormal,
Get the book: Amazon

Review:

Edited 12/1/2016
This story starts out at the end of the world, supposedly. Something happened, and now the U.S. is divided up between the People's Republic of Virginia, the Democratic Alliance, and the Republicon outlaws. We don't find out why the world ended, at least not at the beginning. We eventually find out towards the end of the book, but by that point, it's too late.  It seems like there's civilization in some capacity, so is it the end of the world? I don't think it is.

War breaks out between the PVR and the Democratic Alliance and who leads the charge? A 14-year-old superhuman. Caroline, however, doesn't know she's superhuman, which is a trend in this book. We don't know why the world ended. Caroline doesn't know that she's super human. She doesn't know why people are so willing to follow her. She doesn't know how she's going to save her new found people. This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine in books. It comes across as lazy writing to me, and it seems more and more common with shorter books like this.

The characters are flat, and there is not one personality in this book. There's no real character development beyond Caroline finding out she's a Kinder. They're too much insecurity and uncertainty for her to grow.

This book tries too hard to be something it's not. It tries really hard to portray Caroline as this strong female character, and honestly she's not. She's a scared little girl who is gifted. She doesn't lead the people, James and Finn end up making a lot of the decisions for her while she gets the credit for it. It also tries way too hard to be political. I mean come on? The Democratic Alliance and the Republicons? Give me a break.

At 230 pages, this story is incredibly rushed. It could do with some history on why the civilization failed in the beginning and some significant character development. I'll give it points for some decent action, but that's about it. While reading it, I got the impression that Ernie Lindsey decided on a set number of pages before writing and stuck to it no matter what got sacrificed in the story. Another 150 pages and it could have had some history and Caroline being a leader and strong main character.

One out of five moons, because I feel obligated to give it something.

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