This book didn’t work for me at all. It was like “The Giver” meets “Divergent” gone wrong. I loved most books I’ve read from Lisa Henry and the feel of this one reflects more of her style than Belleau’s (not that I’ve read much from the latter’s works). The premise was interesting but thinly veiled and almost predictable.
The story was from Rory James’s POV who have worked all his life to become a citizen of the utopian city state of Beulah – his only chance to escape Tophet where he was born and was the exact opposite of Beulah. On his way to his new job, Rory was assaulted by a young man named Tate Patterson who also came from Tophet. Due to the strict law of the Beulah, Tate was offered and accepted a plea bargain via rehabilitation through restitution. Tate was to live with Rory for seven years and served him like a slave. Fitted with a behavior modifying chip, Tate is unable to disobey any orders. Unaware of the true nature of the chip, things spiraled down for Rory that even went beyond his worst nightmare destroying his dreams altogether and his chance at love.
The story to put it simply was just horrifyingly disturbing. It feels like some of those “scenes” were created more for shock value than for story development. Its pacing was excruciatingly slow, characters underdeveloped and the conclusion was just weird as hell. It was too bizarre for me if I’m being honest.
I can’t even begin to understand how the couple here fell for each other. And the whole thing about the chip was like some sort of underground bullshit. It was too forced when it’s actually a key piece in the story. I can’t say anymore without cringing thinking about this book. I honestly didn’t see any potential for its story to develop any more with the said premise. Okay, so I’ll zip it now. This is giving me horrible, horrible feelings…
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars