Published: 1st April 2014 by Harlequin
Format: Paperback, 295 pages
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Love vs Life.
Good vs Evil.
War vs Warfare.
Which would you choose?
After a solar flare wipes out most of the world’s inhabitants, it leaves behind nothing but a desolate earth and a desperate population. Existence is no longer a certainty. And with factions now fighting for the power to rule, people start to become reckless with their lives. The world has become a dangerous place.
Amongst the ensuing chaos, Nate and Hermia — two victims of the new world order — are taken against their will to The Compound. Joined by eight other teenagers all chosen for a specific reason, Nate and Hermia are forced to train as assassins to overthrow the current president and make way for a new leader of the free world. Here, they learn to plan, fight, and most importantly... to survive.
Except, despite the casual cruelty of their new existence, both Nate and Hermia — two very strong but very different people — begin to form fragile bonds within the group. But they soon realize their happiness is short lived...because their training is just the beginning.
A war awaits...regardless of how ready or willing they may be.
I don’t actually know what happened here.
Ok, so I know that a solar flare killed off almost everyone on earth. There were two hundred people in the (US?) army. There are ten people left in the world, with type O blood. I don’t actually know what the adults do now, but the kids go to school (that’s right, they’re in SCHOOL!).
Not Hermia though. I think she was a dancer in a strip club? Maybe.
Anyway, Hermia, Nate and a bunch of other kids (aged 17-20) are kidnapped and then put into a freakishly lavish training centre and trained. To kill the people who are threatening the life of the President (of the US?), or to protect the President, or maybe both. The blurb says they’re meant to assassinate the President, but there were working against the people who were trying to kill him (I think). Except that their training includes being killed (or almost killed), and maimed frightfully. I’m not entirely sure how that works either.
The story is told in dual point of view by Hermia and Nate, who (thankfully) aren’t destined to be romantically involved. I liked Nate a lot, but Hermia was really annoying. She judges anything and everything around her, no one is ever good enough for her. She’s got issues. Any display of emotions makes her want to vomit, the charming thing she is. Nate was much more enjoyable to read about. He’s level-headed and cares for the people around him – a natural born leader.
The romances in this book are oddly clinical. I didn’t feel any passion or fire, Nate and Hermia just saw people and fell in insta-love. Oh, and there was a bizarre obsession with eyes: everyone was either falling into eyes or captured by eyes. Eyes changed colour, pupils dilated, darkened with desire etc. Eyes, eyes everywhere. Actually, I remember thinking at one point that Marina was just a pair of blue eyes to Nate, maybe with lips attached for kissing. (Har har, I’m funny).
But the biggest let down of this book wasn’t the world-building or the romances, it was the oddly clunky plotting. I really don’t have a clue what was going on most of the time. Some of the kids died in the training and many of them sustained horrible injuries. It really made no sense if they were kidnapped to be the heart of some rebellion or protection detail. Also, they were just walking around and they stumbled on the headquarters of the bad guys. Moreover, the climactic battle was very confusing, with people running everywhere and getting themselves captured or killed, and then the captured people were rescued in increasingly unrealistic fashions. And the ending really, really confused me.
I was liking the book while I was reading it – there was certainly a lot going in – and I guess I’d assumed that everything would eventually become clear. Except it didn’t. So when I turned the last page, I was mostly disappointed. Enmity left me very confused, and ultimately I didn’t enjoy it much at all.