Thank you to Agora Books for the review copy.
When I was first sent the book synopsis for The Undying by Melissa Welliver, I screamed a little bit. It was, quite literally, like someone taking the book idea I wrote onto a scrap of paper back in 2012 and amplified it by a bazillion and turned it into the coolest story of all time. There is nothing I love more than a post-apocalyptic story line with class segregation and UNDYING! You know it’s going to be good! Here is the blurb I got:
What if living forever was a death sentence?
Decades after the discovery that a small percentage of the population has stopped ageing, the Avalonia Zone is in crisis. From overpopulation to food shortages, the ‘Undying’ have been blamed for the state’s problems, banished to the fringes of society, and punished for every minor infraction.
When sixteen-year-old Sadie takes the fall for an attack by a rebel group, The Alchemists, she suddenly finds herself wrenched away from her quiet life and from her ailing father.
Armed with little help and even less knowledge, Sadie is thrust into a cold and cryptic ‘correctional facility’ – The Tower. Here she’ll have to rethink everything she’s been told about the Undying population in an attempt to save the life she knows, protect a group of unlikely friends, and give voice to the voiceless in a society on the brink of catastrophic upheaval.
I think it’s pretty clear why I responded: YES YES YES YES YES to the blog tour request!
And while it wasn’t the story I was expecting, I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
It is almost impossible not to get hooked into this fast-paced story by Welliver, but that brings with it some challenges too. Some “cliffhangers” and quick decision making by protagonist Sadie where just not believable or had me scratching my head saying, “But why would she do that?” I can tell it was meant to move the story forward, so that didn’t take away from the plot too much.
Speaking of moving forward, this book also has flashbacks to how to Undying and the world came to be and I loved this aspect of the story! It not only made the world-building so much more interesting, but it was exciting to almost have this “insider’s look” into this dystopian world, while still keeping you hooked and curious enough to want to delve into her next one (this will be a trilogy!). Why all the secrets? I NEED MORE!
I’ll be honest, nothing in the story truly surprised me, but that didn’t stop it from being interesting and didn’t stop me from wanting to know more (I’m not afraid to have a DNF if I don’t like a text!).
I think people who appreciate YA dystopian will eat this one one, especially with the gorgeous cover that the official print of the text has. My review copy also came with really amazing paper products to go with the story, which I love. Makes me feel like I’m in the world or about to enter a film experience.
I rate this 3.5/5 stars (please note that I am a challenging book reviewer!).