Sunday, February 5, 2017
Nemesis - So the Science Fiction Element Didn't Really Confuse Me
AUTHOR: Brendan Reichs
PUBLISHER: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
PUBLISHING DATE: March 21, 2017
FROM GOODREADS: It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.
Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.
For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.
This book was a pleasant surprise. I really wasn't sure what I expected from it, but reading it was a really enjoyable experience. Every two years on her even birthdays Min, who resides in a small town trailer park, is killed by a man in a black suit. The next day, she wakes up in the same spot of the forest and returns home. Min's mother and the school shrink attempt to make Min think she has mental problems, and eventually, Min stops talking about what happens altogether. Little does she know but a classmate, Noah, who comes from the ritzy neighborhood, is having similar experiences. Add in the fact that the world seems set for destruction from an asteroid dubbed "The Anvil" and that natural disasters are happening everywhere, and you have a book with a heck of a lot of action. Eventually Min, Noah and Min's best friend Tack, join forces to find out what is going on and why the government seems to have taken over their town of Fire Lake.
This book switches gears quite a lot throughout the story and at sometimes, it felt a tad disjointed. However, it was a really fast paced novel and I had a hard time putting it down. The main issue I had with the books were some of the characters. You have the class bully, Ethan, who basically thinks he is God and his animosity with Tank becomes quite repetitive. Then you have Tank himself who I respect because he stands up for himself, but he does so sometimes without exhibiting common sense or restraint and as a reader, I found his attitude annoying. And finally you have Min and Noah. Min is my favorite because she is smart, strong and independent. Noah on the other hand needs to grow a spine and although there were reasons for him acting the way he did, I just wanted to shake him or maybe even worse. The book itself is told from Min and Noah's dual perspectives and I do tend to enjoy books written in this fashion. The transitions always flowed well and both sides are critical to the plot.
"Nemesis" is definitely for those who enjoy science fiction, or who, for newbies like me, want to read more in this genre without risking being utterly confused. Also, I referenced it before in an update but "Nemesis" has a strong "Red Dawn" vibe. One warning though, if cliffhangers drive you crazy, you may want to wait until book two is released because "Nemesis" ends with a bang. While there was some resolution and satisfaction in the ending, it really makes the reader immediately want more. I will definitely be watching for the sequel.
RATING: 4 PAWS