Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review: Landry Park

Landry Park (Landry Park, #1)Title: Landry Park
Author: Bethany Hagen
Series: Landry Park
Volume: 1
Genre: Dystopia
Release Date: Feb. 4, 2014

A Quick Introduction: The future of the United States, it is ruled by the gentry and powered by nuclear charges. Madeline Landry has grown up learning that she was born to lead the gentry, like her father does now. He expects her to marry and run the family estate. But all is not well in the illusion of a perfect world, and Madeline begins to question everything she has been taught. With rumours of a war on the horizon and hints of an uprising from the repressed lower class, Madeline finds herself struggling with choosing what is right and her duty.

Out of Ten: 2/10

Review at a Glance: This dystopian novel lacked sympathetic characters or a truly engaging plot.

Review: Unfortunately, I didn’t really enjoy this one. Part of it may be that I’m a little tired of this particular brand of dystopian novel.

I found there were a lot of things about the novel that I didn’t like about the book, the first of which was Madeline herself. She bothered me, to be frank. I found there was inconsistency to her character, which I think was intended to be interpreted as indecisiveness, was frustrating to read. She wasn’t that assertive a character, she just came off as dithering a lot, and her compassion, once she found it, still came off as somehow false or shallow. The reader is informed that she is quite intelligent, but there isn’t really much that backs it up. I really didn’t feel much of anything more than annoyance toward her. I also disliked the love interest, David for many of the same reasons. They both just seemed inconsistent and felt two dimensional. I truly didn’t find any of the characters to be very engaging or three dimensional.

The plot shuffled between Madeline having a dilemma about the underclass, dying of radiation poisoning from the nuclear charges that power her world, Madeline trying to figure out who attacked one of her friends, and Madeline having a dilemma about David not fancying her. Honestly, I found it tedious, possibly due to my dislike of the narrator. The action really only picked up in the last fifty pages or so, and died down rather quickly.

As for the writing, I wasn’t thrilled by it. There were a couple of phrases (apple-stained? As far as I am aware, apples do not stain hands- fresh apple juice is pretty clear) that bothered me. The storytelling just didn’t manage to pull me into a plot that I really didn’t have an interest in following. The world itself didn’t interest me much either, and I wasn’t sure how it worked- what exactly are they meant to be doing with all of the dirty nuclear charges? There wasn’t that much of a background for the world that was being created. Why the return to some regency era-esque behaviours?

Overall, I just didn’t enjoy this one. I didn’t like the characters very much, and I didn’t really have any interest in the plot, and I don’t think that I will be continuing this series.

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