One Sentence Review: Although I had problems with the characters (who I thought were, for the most part, stereotypical), I did enjoy the fast-paced nature of this end-of-the world contemporary and sci-fi mashup.
It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.
Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.
For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders. (Summary from Goodreads)
I have very mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I raced through it: I received it less than a week ago, began it Sunday, and am writing this review Monday night (and this was NOT a short novel). On the other hand, the plot reminded me a LOT of another series, and I didn’t find myself caring that much about any of the characters or feeling like I need to read the sequel.
So many of the characters in this book were black-and-white, and maybe that’s why I didn’t like them that much. Take Ethan and compare him to Min, for example. Ethan was your typical high school bully, never once showing vulnerability and constantly being portrayed as nothing but a horrible person. Min, on the other hand, appeared completely flawless, not only in her own eyes, but in Noah’s as well. Min knew she wasn’t crazy from the beginning, and throughout the book demonstrated nothing but strength and confidence among other heroic attributes, even when faced with her killer. Was it admirable? Yes, of course it was. But as Min was one of the main characters in this novel, one whose point of view was included in the story, I wanted to see more than just the noble and valiant persona: I wanted to see and know her insecurities as well as witness some sort of fear or terror rather than get what felt like nothing but an outsider’s perspective of her.
What this book did have going for it was plot. While the concept of this book reminded me a lot of the 5th Wave (like seriously, SO MANY SIMILARITIES), there were aspects of it I found unique and that I really enjoyed. Like I mentioned earlier, this book was the epitome of a page-turner (which I desperately needed when I felt myself going into a book slump), and I raced through it, waiting just as impatiently as the characters for an explanation of what the heck was going on.
Overall, I did somewhat like this book. I had theory after theory as the plot progressed, so I was definitely engaged in the story (none of my theories even came CLOSE to being right unfortunately). Although there were definitely issues when it came to characters, the plot was suspenseful and fast-paced, allowing for a quick read that also felt like an extensive story.
If you’re into astronomy or are generally a fan of end of the world novels, then this is for sure the book for you!
Oh and shameless promo for a second: the book club I’m a part of, Bibliophile Academy, is currently hosting a read-along of Nemesis in collaboration with Penguin Teen until March 28th! Make sure to check out our Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/bibliophileacademy/) to stay up to date with updates if you’ve been wanting to read this highly-anticipated new release!
Make sure to come back next Wednesday for a new review!