09/05/2014

Review: Uninvited {Sophie Jordan}


 
Davy Hamilton's genetic tests prove she's destined to become a murderer.

She loses her friends, boyfriend, and even her family begin to doubt her. Davy doesn't feel different, but genes don't lie. One day, she'll kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow carrier of the kill-gene can relate to her torment. And when they're both sent to a training camp for HTS carriers, she must decide if he is just as deadly as he seems, or if he might just be the only person she can trust.

 

 
It's a fascinating idea for technology to exist that can detect killers before they commit their crimes, but it's also just not viable. If I'm going to believe someone's genes can determine whether they might murder someone, I'm going to need some science. Some explanations. But Sophie Jordan offers none and expects us to simply accept that this is possible and move on.

Also, though this book isn't set too far in the future (2021?), somehow everyone is perfectly okay with labelling people as murderers because they have the HTS gene. Families turn against their kids / loved ones, friends abandon friends, and generally everybody is pretty shitty.

Not one none-HTS person defends them. There are no riots or protests or anything. People accept this crap and segregate and discriminate against a group of people. And this new company responsible for discovering HTS, has the power to do whatever they want, including branding people.

There is no way we, as a society, would let this happen with no protest. There is no way this would be so widely accepted in the near future.

BUT, if I look past that, there's a good book hidden somewhere here. The first half is tedious, but once the second half hit (the half in the camps), the story found its footing and became really entertaining. The characters were suddenly well-developed and likeable (which they weren't before); the plot was suddenly intense and disturbing. I just found myself completely intrigued by the whole thing.

The romance was a bit typical and followed the whole 'bad boy / good girl' roles but once they were at the camps I became invested in Sean and Davy's relationship and loved how we got to see their roles reverse. Sean became the 'good guy' who was both caring and sweet, and Davy became a total bad-ass. I liked that duality and thought it made their relationship far more interesting.

It also made Davy someone I could care about. I was so bored of the perfect musical prodigy we saw in the first half of the novel, it was amazing to see this new side of her, willing to do whatever it took to make it out alive and ensure the people she cared about did too.

Sophie Jordan's world-building needs work and the lack of explanation behind her pseudo-science was frustrating. The first half of the novel, unfortunately, didn't do it for me, but once that second half reared its head a great dystopian started to emerge. This is definitely a book that suffers a lot from setting the scene and slow pacing, but if you stick it out, it proves worth it.

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it in the process he does not become a monster." 

 
 

 

Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart.
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19 comments:

  1. I do think the premise of this sounds great, but I think the lack of SOME science and protests against this HTS gene would be frustrating. It could use a bit more "realism" I guess. I think I'd like this overall though.

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    1. Just a little bit of explanation would have made me much more forgiving. Seriously, ANY information would have made me forgiving :P

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  2. No science makes it a little less appealing. I mean, there can be some things left a little open, but if the foundation of the entire book rests on the idea that you can identify people are killers, I want to see a little effort around how it works. And, I can't believe everyone just goes with it. That is a huge controversy saying someone couldn't overcome the gene and live a normal life. That would not go down well in today's world, sending people to camps and branding them because of their background... sounds a little familiar...

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    1. Exactly! The fact that society as a whole excepts this thing and doesn't even question it; they discriminate and bully and brand these people and it just wasn't realistic. There's no way there wouldn't be an uproar!

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  3. Oh. My. God.
    Someone who actually understands that the genetic aspect of this book wasn't explained. I think I might die. Allie, you are my new hero! <33
    Anyway...moving on... You say you have a genetic disease, and you don't explain which genes / chromosomes are effected by that disease? No. Just no.

    And yes...I absolutely agree (and love!) everything about this review. Thanks for sharing Allie! :D

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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    1. Ahh my review twin! ;)

      It just made NO sense. I wouldn't have even minded a ludicrous scientific explanation, because at least it would've been an EXPLANATION.

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  4. I did not get past that first part :/ Everyone does say good things about the second half though, and that sounds like that was the case here as well. I agree about the shoddy world building. I think my main problem was the heroine though.

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    1. Davy was far too Mary-Sue at first. Honestly though, I feel like she really developed as a character once the story did. It was almost like once the camps hit Jordan got to the bit of the story she wanted to write, and suddenly things were just better overall

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  5. I'm glad to hear that you stuck it out and it got better when you did! Sounds like the prejudice in here is kind of unexplained and unbelievable, which isn't good. At least the characters get better after a while. Lovely review Allie!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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    1. Yeah. I was glad of the improvement in the characters, plot and even the writing itself!

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  6. That's what I thought too! I hope the second book can expand upon the science and some of the background characters. Authors working with genetic topics should really do some research, because this seems to be a common problem in dystopia.

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    1. I think the second book will be an improvement, simply because it seems as though Sophie Jordan 'got to the good bit' and started putting more effort in as the story progressed. I hope she does explain more about the sciency bits too, because otherwise it's just a stupid concept to have; you're right, you shouldn't write about anything you can't back up!

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  7. I really loved this book! I think it was really entertaining for me (but maybe this is because I read it immediately after reading a particularly horrible book?). Anyways, I do understand what you mean by the lack of explanation, and I'd like to see this cleared up for the next book. Great review!

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    1. I totally get what you mean; sometimes the enjoyment of a book is affected by what you've read before. I actually read a book I loved before this, so maybe that's why I had less of a stellar reaction to it?

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  8. I ended up really enjoying this book, I thought it was really enjoyable. The lack of explanation really bothered me and people's easy acceptance of it as well. But, I went along with the book with the assumption that the science aspect of it might be explained better in book two. I was hoping we were left in the dark about it for now but that there would be an explanation in book two. I hope so at least, I'll be very disappointed otherwise. Great review :)

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    1. I think there will be! It's a duology after all, so maybe Jordan just didn't want to reveal it all in book one? Here's hoping!

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  9. I'd give this book a shot although it's not up my normal alley. Sudden development in the second half is more forgivable than lack of development at all.

    I find myself much more forgiving to imperfect authors since publishing my own book lately :)

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    1. Agreed! If a book can redeem itself later on, I'm generally forgiving of earlier misdeeds. I'd rather a book have a bad beginning and a great middle / end, than the other way round!

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  10. I agree that I would have liked to know a little more about the science and some more world building, but I took it as more of an alternate world, not quite ours, so suspension of disbelief made it an interesting read. I liked that it definitely raises some good topics for discussion. We read this in one of my book clubs and had a great chat.

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