Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Review: Deadzone (Horizon #2)

Release Date: September 12, 2017
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Length: 208 pages
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

The survivors have made it out of the jungle, but they may be sorry they ever left when they stumble upon a whole new ecosystem, populated with entirely new threats.

And the greatest threat of all may come from within. Because one of the kids is changing...

The seven-book series begun by #1 New York Times bestseller Scott Westerfeld only gets bigger and bolder under the frenzied imagination of bestselling, critically acclaimed author Jennifer A. Nielsen!



Protagonists: As our heroes traverse a new ecosystem, more about their pasts come to light. After surviving the Rift's jungle the survivors of a downed Horizon flight have found that somehow they are right where they're supposed to be, just in some sort of Rift in the earth that houses multiple ecosystems and countless terrors. They journey to find the truth of where they are and hope to find a way home. There are still a lot of characters in this book, but by now I think I've gotten a good handle on who they are as characters and this book, while short, does a lot to flesh out these characters and show new sides of them. My favorite character is probably Yoshi, he's heroic and adventurous, but what really draws me to him is just how flawed he is. He's impulsive, selfish, stubborn, a lone wolf, and will lie to get his way, but that doesn't keep him from having some fantastic character development in this book. All of the characters, in some way or another, have similar character development, though it varies in substance.

World Building: A new book means a new environment, and a new environment means new challenges. One of the things that really hooked me about this world was that there's just this random rift in the middle of a tundra and that these kids have to traverse it uncovering secrets along the way. Honestly, other than showing off a completely new environment there isn't all that much in terms of world-building that I can talk about without spoiling things. Honestly, there isn't all that much, don't get me wrong the things learned in this book make up for that, it's just that I felt like I came out with more questions than answers and I'm interested to see how many are answered in the next installment.

Predictability: This book is by far more unpredictable than the previous one. In the first installment we were getting to know these characters and this world while crazy stuff happened, but now that it's easier to understand what's going on and just what might happen, well, it gets intense. I won't say that there are a whole lot of twists and turns in this story because a lot of this story is still about these characters and their interpersonal relationships as they try and escape, and also because this book is so short, but the twists that are in here are the gut-punching, I can't believe that just happened, kind. In terms of things I could predict, there wasn't all that much in fact I never had one of those, "Oh because of this, this, and this, that will happen" kind of moments.

Ending: As this book begins to head toward the final climax, I wasn't sure what would happen. Before I could really ponder it all that long, things... went... down... Now the final climax wasn't the intense action scene I was hoping for, but honestly, I was sort of intense action-ed out and liked that it became more of a game of intense strategy, with just a bit of action. The cooldown period was a bit plateaued, but the last line, that was a bit of a cliffhanger and I can't wait to see what happens next.


Despite being a rather short book without all that much world building I really enjoyed this story and a lot of questions were raised and are still up in the air and I can't wait to see and learn more about this world!


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