Monday 22 April 2013

Review -- Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon


Title: Strangelets
Author: Michelle Gagnon
Publisher: Soho Teen
Release Date: 09 April 2013
Date Read: February 2013
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

17-year-old Sophie lies on her deathbed in California, awaiting the inevitable loss of her battle with cancer…
17-year-old Declan stares down two armed thugs in a back alley in Galway, Ireland…
17-year-old Anat attempts to traverse a booby-trapped tunnel between Israel and Egypt…

All three strangers should have died at the exact same moment, thousands of miles apart. Instead, they awaken together in an abandoned hospital—only to discover that they’re not alone. Three other teens from different places on the globe are trapped with them. Somebody or something seems to be pulling the strings. With their individual clocks ticking, they must band together if they’re to have any hope of surviving.

Soon they discover that they've been trapped in a future that isn't of their making: a deadly, desolate world at once entirely familiar and utterly strange. Each teen harbors a secret, but only one holds the key that could get them home. As the truth comes to light through the eyes of Sophie, Declan, and Anat, the reader is taken on a dark and unforgettable journey into the hearts of teens who must decide what to do with a second chance at life.

I expected more from this. I don't know what exactly it was I expected, just more than what I got.

It follows Declan, Sophie and Anet as they try to find their way around this unknown environment- an abandoned hospital in one of the busiest city in the country and it seems as if they are the only humans around for miles in every direction. A lot of the novel are the characters understanding what exactly happened to them, and to everyone. It was nice at the beginning, the doubt, the mystery, the urgency of the pace. But the uncertainties just dragged on for too long. I couldn't believe it had taken them so. freaking. long. to figure out what happened to everyone. The novel was also heavy on the science-fiction elements, with quantum physics, multiple universes and aliens involved. It is filled with action-packed scenes one after the other.

I guess my biggest problem was the lack of character development. The novel was told through multiple point of views, Sophie's, Declan's and Anet's. Gagnon was able to provide a wider view of the world than other authors who have tried to use multiple povs. But the thing is, it did not give any insight at all to any of the character's personalities, I think. There was enough distinction between each narrator's voice to determine who's chapter it was but that was it. I was not able to connect with any of the characters nor sympathize with their plight. I honestly couldn't care less if they all just died.

The ending left me with a lot more questions than answers, not to mention a bit anti-climatic. The whole novel was just very focused ton the fact that these teenagers are stuck in this place and they're trying to find their way back home. A lot of trekking, a lot of unknowns, a lot of mystery as to what xactly happened but it all barely amounted to anything, I think. Honestly I feel like I just wasted my time reading the book even if it wasn't terrible. It is mediocrity at its finest. It had an ok cast of characters, with an ok plot filled with ok mystery.

Maybe fans of mystery and sci-fi might enjoy this a whole lot more. Some of my friends gave it quite impressive ratings. Maybe it's for you. Give it a shot. It's not like it was a terrible book.

An ARC was provided by the publisher, and Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

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