Source: eBook ARC via NetGalley
The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.
The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronze must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.
When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive.
The question is who?
Title: Shadow Fall
Series: Shadow Fall #1
Author: Audrey Grey
Publisher: Blaze Publishing
Good things first: this was exciting, dark, suspenseful, pretty hilarious at some morbid points, and entertaining. Maia’s lived in fear her whole life, so when she’s offered a chance to survive with her little brother up in space, she has to seriously work on herself, mentally and physically, to qualify and compete in the Trials. Her journey to bettering herself takes up the first half of the book, escaping the slums and finding shelter among ruins and ruined people. The people she interacted with had their own little quirks that were just as interesting.
Personally, Riser is the favorite, mainly because he’s so complex but real with you (or Maia in this case). Maia was a little harder to love, because her struggle is finding the will to stop being so afraid. Her constant feelings about Riser and her questioning it was redundant, which put a damper on the reading experience. I’m more of a kick-ass, fear-me kinda reader, and to be honest, girls who struggle to find their worth make for a very hard read to take in. It gets frustrating if the thing’s going on for like a hundred pages. Only so much I can take, people.
Now, I struggled with this review. I liked the book and it reads like a good one, but there were a small number of scenes, very important scenes that made up this whole thing, that read too much like The Hunger Games and Divergent. Even Vera’s The Atlantis Grail series popped up in my head.
I thought of The Hunger Games when Maia had to pretend to love Riser so they’d get sponsors for the Trials. I thought of Divergent and called it when a girl was being bullied and Maia was getting mad enough to want to step in, despite their plan of laying low. I thought of Vera’s Atlantis Grail series every time the asteroid was mentioned, because really, both series are about a girl fighting for freedom with her family on a spaceship before the infamous asteroid comes to smash Earth in all sorts of ways.
I’m not comparing Grey’s work with the other mainstream books I’ve read before hers. I’m stressing out the frustration I had the whole time I was reading this because even though I told you about three things, they were still very important instances that contributed to the whole book. If it were small similarities, I wouldn’t care. But they aren’t, so it’s kind of an ‘eh’ thing for me right now.
I mention this because if you have the same pet peeves, suck it up. Read this book because it is totally worth it in my opinion. The Dystopian vibe with the way the characters just struggled to be people and want things more than survival was really great. Maia was hard to love, as I said, but she wasn’t bad. It was a struggle I didn’t mind enduring.
Now, I’ll tell you what bugged me. The love triangle. I don’t like love triangles unless they’re done right (to my liking) and this one? Didn’t love it. She was put in this tricycle of a shape between two guys: one she’d had history and literal chemistry with, and one she’d chosen all on her own. It’s fate vs. choice, and this always bugs me because you’re pitting her free will against ‘meant to be’ feelings. She has history with both boys, but very different histories, that show very different sides of her. It was so complicated and I just really didn’t like the fact that the third part to the triangle was only coming in after like 70% of the book. Yes, he’s mentioned beforehand, but it still sucks. Let me complain.
Overall, definitely a book to check out. If you loved those moments Katniss and Tris had, then there should be no reason for you to not like it. Otherwise, Grey’s storytelling will pull you in and make you wonder who Maia will choose.
The Gold prince? Riser? Or a different part of herself she may fail to realize was there until it’s too late?