“Terrified of the contamination and the creatures it has created, humanity hides behind The Wall. No one knows what lies beyond the wasteland. Maya has never thought much about what might still be out there, lurking in the forgotten places. But when she’s thrust into the unknown, she is forced to question everything she has ever been told. Not everyone outside died, some of them became something… else. As her heart is torn in two, every choice she makes is harder than the last. What she discovers will change her forever. She knows she will probably die, but Maya has seen enough of death and she won’t let it have her without a fight.”
I feel incredibly bad about this book. The author was kind enough to give me an eARC for an honest review, and I never delivered on my end of the bargain. I ended up buying it anyway just because I like to support, and it was also easier to read the purchased item since it’s formatted for Kindle.
As you can see from the post title, I did not finish the novel; however, I would still highly recommend it if you are of the YA Dystopian loving variety (which has been stated numerous times, I’m really not). It has parallels in both Divergent and Hunger Games, but doesn’t mirror either and in fact puts an interesting twist on the motifs. Like many books of this variety, things are not what they seem, and those in power can’t be trusted, and I was pleasantly shocked by some of the dangers Maya faced. They were a bit more raw and dire than standard YA fare, but utterly plausible in this world and situation she found herself.
The one critique I have to give (I do want to be honest) has to do with a particular character being unconscious for nearly two-thirds of the book. In fact they were still knocked out when I stopped reading. This forestalled any chances of a love triangle forming, which may have been Ms. Valenti’s plan, but it seemed like a forced avoidance. While there was an explanation given for the character’s state *spoiler* with the assumption that they would wake up well with no brain damage, *end spoiler* love triangles aren’t inherently bad (though they have become trite I suppose), and there was (and still is) also a potential resolution that would pair all of the important characters up.
Since I know that YA is not my preferred genre, I have to take my bias against it into account. Chained is a nice scramble of popular paradigms, which is what the best stories do. YA Is supposed to show younger readers that they shouldn’t always believed what they’re told. They should fight for proof, not follow without any question, and learn how to think as opposed to what. A major reveal of the story comes nicely in the midst of very high stakes.
The author has several more books planned in this series so if you enjoy this, there are plenty more to come!