What I love about novels dealing with dystopian scenarios is the chance to combine a unique world building with the opportunity to highlight things that are on a questionable path in today’s world. I can live with a less than convincing story if the world building is outstanding in dystopian/ post-apocalyptic novels.
But here… there just IS no world building. There is snow and ice and starvation. That’s it. Oh and (*cringe*) zombies are called „thrillers“ (in honour of Michael Jackson?) and there are polar bears. There is a poisoned black sea with trashbergs (like icebergs, but consisting of trash) and the water is described as highly irritating to eyes and skin. But consuming fish directly from those waters is no problem but actually a great idea! Yay!
The bits and pieces we get that are supposed to give us a glimpse of the world are often ridiculous or later on are seemingly forgotten by the authors.
Ok, the world building sucked, to put it mildly, but I can live with that as long as there are great characters, right? Let’s see. We have a bunch of teenagers who act like hardened war veterans, a hero who is supposed to be tough but turns into a kitten every time he gets aware of the striking beauty of our heroine.
The heroine herself is just bland, which is the best you can say about her. I didn’t care about her destiny at all.
But there was still hope, because the sizzling moments between a couple or couple to be can make a book worthwhile for me. But here… Seriously I NEVER encountered a couple with less sparks. Oh sparks were described, excitement was described but I never felt any of it. The more the authors described how the protagonists were drawn to one another the more forced it felt. There was zero chemistry between them.
In the beginning however I thought the characters were kind of promising, I admit that, but they only became dull and annoying.
Fantasy creatures were just tossed into the story randomly. Here some zombies (I mean „thrillers“ of course), there a dragon (which is actually the most funny bit in the book, but unfortunately in a „ridiculous“ kind of way), dwarfs, mutants…
Frankly I don’t care enough about the book to write about the story, but what sounds interesting at first turns ridiculous soon enough. The story drags on slowly for most of the book and the end seems like a joke.
It takes a while to actually understand what kind of world this is and what is going on. Bits and pieces are thrown at the reader here and there in a random fashion.