Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Review ~ Icons ~ Margaret Stohl

Title: Icons

Author: Margaret Stohl

Published:  May 7th 2013

By: Little, Brown Books

Source: netgalley

First line: One tiny grey dot, no bigger than a freckle, marks the inside of the baby’s chubby arm.

Last line:  May silence bring her peace.

Fave line: But just because something comes from the sky doesn’t make it an angel.

If you follow the reviews on Midnight Reads you’ll know how much I’ve shipped the Beautiful Creatures series. I loved the style of writing and the warm that is held within the words that Margaret Stohl and kami Garcia wrote.  Imagine my excitement then when I discover that one of my fave authors is starting a new series and taking on the dystopian world.  That’s like Christmas in my world! Give me a preview copy for review and I’m on the verge of cartwheeling around the garden!

In writing Icons Stohl has created a world no less rich in detail than those she has built before.  The setting for Icons has the potential to be cold and bleak and yet she has created characters who, for all their in-fighting and battles against those that hold them captive, are still drenched in warmth and who still have hope.

Being dystopian Icons is not surprisingly set in the future, roughly a hundred years from now and the current situation that our main protagonists find themselves in is an event which has been called ‘The Day’. It was on the day that aliens landed on earth depositing thirteen icons in major cities around the world, wiping out all forms of energy as they saw fit and killing millions in the process. Only those that have been allowed to live are still breathing. Enter Dol and Ro, who have survived the invasion and have been raised by the Padre in the wilderness.  Both have a mark on their arms although they differ and neither knows what it means until Dol is kidnapped.  As Ro attempts to rescue her they end up hostages of the Embassy where they meet Tima and Lucas.  Tima like them is a hostage of the Embassy and has been for years.  Lucas on the other hand is the son of the Ambassador, the woman who holds all three hostage.  What links all four characters is that they all bare marks on their wrists, each is different and together they seem to hold the key to overthrowing the icons that have all but wiped out earth.

First, I loved the layout of this book.  The additional notes that were added in between chapters sent me off at all kinds of tangents which was marvellous and certainly kept me thinking until the final pieces of the plot began to fit together.  I did like the pace of this first instalment.  As with any series you need time to develop the world and the setting, particularly so with sci-fi dystopian reads as they take us further from reality.  Stohl has done this amazingly and it was easy to picture every setting and every building as she took us through them.

There are some amazing characters in this read.  Each has their strengths and their weaknesses and there is a certain fear that seems to underlie a lot of the behaviours that we read about, whether it’s fear of rejection, fear of loss or just fear of the unknown there are times when you want to hug these characters and times when you want to slap them. Dol has the potential to become a strong female protagonist and I look forward to seeing her develop over future instalments and the same goes for Tima.  I think between the two of them they could seriously kick ass!  As for the two male leads who form our triangle I find myself flitting between them which is not something I often do.  I normally join my team and that’s where I stay.  But there are pros and cons with Ro and Lucas and I think it won’t be until I read more about their characters that I’ll decide which camp I’m in.  I also liked the character Doc and his really bad attempts at humour and I hope that Fortis features more in the next instalment as he had me hooked from his first appearance in the train.

The action is this book is fast paced and as ever Stohl delivers it well, particularly as you reach the climax of the story, the ending of which sets the scene for what promises to be a pretty marvellous sequel.  I look forward to getting my hands on it in the near future!

Rating: 4/5.  It looks like we have another winning series on our hands! If you love a dystopian read then this may be the one for you!

p.s. Just in case you missed the trailer for Icons you can find it here.


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