Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Alive by Scott Sigler

"Alive" by Scott Sigler... where to start. I finished this book last night and had to lay in bed and really think hard on how to rate this. I went with 2.5 stars. I also had to find a way to review this book without giving spoilers. The author actually ended the book with a letter stating "please don't give spoilers or the ending away". No joke. As you probably know, I love Dystpoian books as well as Sci-Fi. This book is both. Therefore I should have absolutely loved it. But it was just ok. 

The basic plot is that a group of kids wakes up in an enclosed space with no knowledge of who they are or how thy got there. The main character, a girl named Em, must lead them to find the answers they are looking for. 

This book reminded me of "Lord of the Flies". A group of kids, trying to survive, going through power struggles, arguing over what to do next. That's pretty much the entire book. 

Just when I got tired of reading about power struggles and arguments and what they thought they should do next, the author throws in a horrific occurrence that sucked me back in and made me want to read more. Bravo for that. The plot is definitely interesting (at times) and one of a kind. But I wanted more details of the world described. I wanted less wandering around and more action. It just left me wanting more. It didn't fill me up, it was just barely enough to stop the hunger pangs. Then it seemed it all came to an abrupt end. It seemed to resolve very easily and very quickly. Resolve isn't the right word. There were more questions in my head. Way more. 

That was the huge problem I had. I was left more questions than what the author offered up as answers. How did it happen? What happened after? These, to me, are major things a reader needs to know in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian book. 

I have seen reviews that put down the writing style and called it choppy. It didn't read like that for me. It was easy to read, and flowed nicely. No major issues on descriptions of the scenery, character's looks or what was taking place. 

This is the first book in a trilogy. I supposed all the unanswered questions were a terrific way to get readers to read the next book. I have this "need to know" mentality so I will definitely be reading the next books in the series. I have also seen several websites and reviewers compare this to Hunger Games or Divergent. Not even close. Not even on the same playing field. 

So not to ruin the book I guess my advice would be: Read It! It's not a complete waste of time. It's an original plot. It's actually quite exciting at times! Click here to pre-order this book. 

I received this as a digital copy for free to read and review for Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group- Del Rey Spectra.
 The options are exclusively my own and I was not paid for them.  

After some thinking I have to raise my rating to 4 stars. I have thought and thought about this book for a few hours now. Which means it impacted me more than I thought, and not in a bad way. Too many preconceived ideas of how it should have been. The author took his own approach and it worked. Though disappointed and full of questions at first, the ending left me wanting more and excited to read the next book hours after finishing. It just had to all sink in.


  1. (I just tried to post a comment, don't know if it went through).

    Thank you for your review of ALIVE. From what you wrote, I think you'll like Book I far more when you see what's coming in Book II. The characters are just so lost in the first installment — they learn far more in the second.

    And THANK YOU for a spoiler-free review!

  2. My what an honor to have the author read my review! THANK YOU for reading and commenting! I have to say that since last night I have thought about this book almost constantly. I don't think I have ever been so torn on how to rate a book. I do look forward to Book II. No doubt. I think the problem was that I had a preconceived notion on how this type of book should be read. You wrote it in your own style. Which ultimately isn't bad at all. All the questions in my mind make me want to read the next book even more! Even before I saw our comment I was playing in my head how to update and amend my review. Because I didn't hate it. Not at all. I supposed it just didn't live up to what I thought it should be, which is silly. I didn't write it. I should have gone into it open minded, not expecting certain aspects, but just enjoying the ride.

    1. The honor is all mine. So much of my career as an author relies upon people like you discussing my books in the public space.

      I'll look forward to your review of Book II!