THE *SUNDAY REVIEW | ALIVE – SCOTT SIGLER

Rain City Reads   August 5, 2015   Comments Off on THE *SUNDAY REVIEW | ALIVE – SCOTT SIGLER

Alive - Scott Sigler

From New York Times bestselling author Scott Sigler comes something utterly new: a gripping sci-fi adventure trilogy in the vein of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner. A group of young adults awake in a mysterious enclosed space with no knowledge of who they are or how they got there…and an indomitable young woman must lead them not only to answers but to survival.

A young woman awakes trapped in an enclosed space. She has no idea who she is or how she got there. With only her instincts to guide her, she escapes her own confinement—and finds she’s not alone. She frees the others in the room and leads them into a corridor filled with the remains of a war long past. The farther these survivors travel, the worse are the horrors they confront. And as they slowly come to understand what this prison is, they realize that the worst and strangest possibilities they could have imagined don’t even come close to the truth.Goodreads

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This book hooks you right from the first page, when our protagonist wakes up in an enclosed space with no idea where she is, who she is, or how to free herself. Then things actually get worse.

Once she manages to free herself from her coffin, our nameless protagonist finds that she and the occupants of the other coffins in her room are trapped in some kind of maze or large building with no clue as to how to get out, no idea if they’re under or above ground, and no food or water. They start walking down the corridor…. and then things get interesting.

It’s hard to go much further in the story without giving away important plot points, which I not only have no desire to do, but which the book’s author, in a note at the end of the book, explicitly asked that reviewers not do.

Without giving away any of the plot, here’s what worked. Suspense. Lots and lots of suspense. And I liked that the intricacies of group dynamics (particularly group dynamics that are augmented by extreme and arduous circumstances) were explored. The exploration of what happens within a person’s psyche when they’re on the edge of survival is also a fascinating mental road to go down. I kept wondering: what would I do in this situation? Would I panic? Lead? Hide? Would I survive?

This was a book that definitely grabbed my attention and kept me on my toes. But it wasn’t perfect. Punctuated with regular action sequences, the plot still managed to drag a bit at times. I also found being in the protagonist’s head frustrating. Not because of her cluelessness – that’s kind of the point – but because of how she approaches leadership and decision making. She pauses frequently to tell herself how to behave and remind herself that she needs to be wary of trusting certain people. Once, twice, okay… but over and over? Enough already.

There were also a lot of similarities to The Maze Runner (though thankfully without the made-up language), a book that led to a lot of eye rolling. This might have affected my feelings about the book just a little.

Though I haven’t been reading as much YA lately as I used to, I’m glad I gave this one a shot. It was different from my usual reading selections, and it’s always nice to have a change. I’m not sure if I’ll continue with this series, but I do think that if you’re a fan of sci-fi – particularly if you also like intrigue – you’ll find this a diverting read.

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**Thanks to Random House of Canada for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Book Title: Alive
Author: Scott Sigler
Series: Generations Trilogy #1
Edition: Hardback
Published By: Del Rey
Released: July 14, 2015
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Pages: 368

Date Read: July 18-26, 2015
Rating: 6/10

*Sorry, this one’s late. I got lost in IKEA for a couple days and then had to use all my mental acuity to put together furniture. No, I don’t want to talk about it.