drink coffee. read books. be happy.

Review: City of Words by Steven J. Carroll

Review City of WordsCity of Words by Steven J. Carroll

Published August 2015 by Createspace.

Amazon

One word changes everything.
The all-powerful ruling authority, the Common, implants sensors into its citizens, sensors into the eyes and into the ears. They can see what you see and hear what you hear, and everything is monitored and recorded. One wrong word, or action, and you can lose your citizenship, which means death.
This is the world that Alpha has survived in for thirteen years, and he’s good at it. At the School, he’s an instructor rank, the highest ranking, which means almost no mistakes, for years. But now everything is unraveling. The Common has set their sights on him, systematically testing him to determine his allegiances. And what’s worse, they’re bringing Theta into this, the only person in the world that he cares about, and they might even kill her to get to him.
And the only way that this gets resolved, and the only way he can keep Theta safe, is if Alpha finds a way to escape the School. But how can you run from an enemy who can watch you at all times, an enemy who knows everything about you? When a single misspoken word can destroy you?
A nonstop Dystopian novel, terrifyingly engrossing and imaginative. (Goodreads)

This was definitely a fast paced dystopian. It was engrossing and imaginative, maybe too imaginative. I overall really, really enjoyed this book. The characters and world building were great. The author gave himself quite a bit of challenges and overcame them fairly well in the process.

I read this immediately following 1984 by George Orwell. This could have been a mistake because the main premise is that the ruling authority can see and hear everything that the citizens see and hear via implanted sensors. This is very much the Big Brother scenario of 1984. However this does not focus on the rules and government of the authority it follows Alpha and his escape and journey to a new and better world. The characters really come alive and I found myself rooting for them and trusting characters before Alpha would. The codes Alpha adopts are realistic and creative. I will be continuing on with this series to find out more about the world and what happens to the characters, especially because of what occurs in the last few pages to Alpha and Theta.

But here are my problems (SPOILERS!!!)

*
*
*
*
*
*
Ok so the fact that Alpha and Chi escaped the Common and walked for nearly 2000 miles blindfolded was quite a bit to accept. I found myself wondering if they ever removed the blindfolds because the world was described pretty well for 2 people who have never been outside the Common and who are completely blindfolded in fear out being recaptured. However, I was able to overlook this bit.

So then Alpha makes it to his destination (Logos) and after a few days is in a wheelchair because he can barely walk. That night him and 2 others plan to escape and head back to the Common in order to save someone. Alpha has to use a crutch to get out of Logos and then someone carries him to the transport, but then hours later he can walk.

Then not only that but as a reader I expected for Alpha to see the world that he traversed blindfolded, but the trip from the Common to Logos is very different on the way back to the Common. This time it is a desert, they are rationing their water, their lips are cracking, their skin is burning, and they often have to seek shade. This goes on and on about how sever the landscape is, but I didn’t get the same feeling when he was blindfolded, I am assuming traversing the same terrain. Maybe they took different routes. Maybe Alpha took a northern route to get to Logos but now on the way back to the Common they are taking a southern route. I just wish this detail was paid attention to because it’s details like these that start stacking up and making numerous things inconceivable.

*
*
*
*
*
* (SPOILERS OVER!!)

Again I really enjoyed the book and with a few tweeks it could be wonderful. The overall premise and the characters make this book shine through the errors. I rated City of Words by Steven J. Carroll 3 stars.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *