ARC kindly received from author in return for an honest review
Have you been a model Citizen today?
Selena Carstairs has been raised an Elite. She lives the life of privileged luxury, never wanting for anything. Respected. Admired. Honoured.
But life is not what it seems…
The island of Wánměi has a strict set of rules. Be a model Citizen and all will be rewarded. Disobey the law and the consequences are dire. For Selena, the urge to defy is in her blood. Out of boredom? Or something else? But she never knew just what penalty she’d have to pay for her latest stunt.
Trent Masters is a Citizen, born and bred. The leader of a small group of revolutionaries desperately trying to free their beloved city of Wánměi. He knows a world exists beyond the island’s borders. He knows a life exists without the heavy handed manipulation and tight fisted control of those in charge.
What he didn’t know was that an Elite would have more chance of challenging the Overseers who control Wánměi than a rebel ever could. And he certainly wasn’t expecting her to capture his heart as stealthily as she moves under the darkness of a hot and humid night.
Citizen versus Elite. The battle has begun.
Here at OUaBB we don’t get enough opportunities to read New Zealand authors. I have a few on my TBR, but I have to admit it’s been a while… So how excited was I when I got the opportunity to read this book! It’s the first in a series and while is definitely still in my range of genre loves, is almost a little on the outer edges. So… I thought I’d take a risk and read something different. The risk DEFINITELY paid off, Nicola Claire can count on herself having a new fan!
Selena on the surface has everything anyone could ever want, money, status and connections. A life that could be led in luxurious ignorance, a life that many would call her crazy for questioning. But there’s something that just will not let her accept the status quo. Something that has her out there risking more than she realizes for reasons that not even she understands quite yet. We’re catapulted into this CRAZY dystopian world with Selena taking her defiance to a whole new level, straight away it’s suspense building, heart stopping action. We aren’t given the whole story, we don’t exactly know what this world is or who Selena is… All of this information slowly begins to unravel after the event that threw us so completely into this story. It’s this technique, the fast paced action mixed perfectly with the storytelling, which really had me enthralled.
The repetitive question ‘Have you been a model citizen today’ gives you a pretty good idea of what world you’ve stepped into. Controlling society is everything. Humans are sheep. Everybody lives by the rules, everybody is ruled by fear. In this world computers will keep you in line, artificial intelligence will make sure you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing, where you’re supposed to be, with who you’re supposed to be doing it with. This is not a world with impulse, freedom or choice. The whole idea of it is such a complete mindf***!
So while the world is robotic and controlled, the main characters in this story are anything but. Selena and Trent are both fiery emotive characters. I absolutely LOVED Trent. Getting into his mind and watching the story unravel in his eyes as well as Selina’s was exactly what the story needed. He had a serious amount of heart, which I love to see in any leading man situation, but especially in leading men like him, seemingly gruff and lives for the cause. The storyline between Trent and Selina really did hold so much of the charm of this book for me. I’m always a sucker for a killer human aspect and these two had the chemistry that nailed it.
This book gives you everything yet leaves you wanting so much more. Every time you feel like something has been resolved you realize there is still so much more to come. I loved that it’s set up this very detailed world and this storyline for the series and it has a firm direction. I LOVED that there was obviously a cliffhanger element but I didn’t feel like throwing my kindle at the wall in impatient frustration. I love that I’ve found a new series obsession, something a little out of my norm that I can’t wait to follow on into book 2 & 3. If you’re looking for a book to mix up your usual reading list then I seriously recommend this to you. I’m positive you’ll be like me and won’t be able to put it down!