Saturday, March 8, 2014

Review: BURN OUT by Kristi Helvig

Book Summary:

A futuristic blend of Beth Revis's Across the Universe and Lenore Appelhans's Level 2, Burn Out will satisfy the growing desire for science fiction with a thrilling story of survival, intrigue, and adventure. 

Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth's final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns "red giant," but discovers her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the hostile environment.

Holed up in an underground shelter, Tora is alone--her brilliant scientist father murdered, her mother and sister burned to death. She dreams of living on a planet with oceans, plants, and animals. Unfortunately, the oceans dried out ages ago, the only plants are giant cacti with deadly spines, and her pet, Trigger, is a gun--one of the bio-energetic weapons her father created for the government before his conscience kicked in.

When family friend, Markus, arrives with mercenaries to take the weapons by force, Tora's fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus and his rag-tag group of raiders, including a smart but quiet soldier named James. Tora must quickly figure out who she can trust, as she must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father's request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.

Expected publication: April 8th 2014 by EgmontUSA

I'm on the fence about this one, honestly. The overall plot itself was great, and the heroine, Tora, was snarky the way most genre YA heroines are--or in my opinion, should be. Kristi, too, is a great writer, which was obvious to me in the way she built her world. In the few hours I was reading this, I forgot it was winter outside and couldn't wait to get off this hell-of-a-hot planet. I mean, I read this in less than a day, so obviously something held my attention. 

That said, I had some issues with character motivations. The first time it happened, I shrugged it off as me reading too fast. Maybe I missed it. But when I kept coming across more motives that seemed to lean toward the because I need it to work method... I couldn't ignore it. And believe me, I wanted to ignore it. It's a really good book, and I do plan to continue reading the series.

Thanks to Netgalley and EgmontUSA for the advanced copy.

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