Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Book Review: Horizon (Horizon #1)

Release Date: March 28, 2017
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Length: 241 pages
Source: Purchased Book

When a plane crash-lands in the arctic, eight young survivors step from the wreckage expecting to see nothing but ice and snow. Instead they find themselves lost in a strange jungle with no way to get home and little hope of rescue.

Food is running out. Water is scarce. And the jungle is full of threats unlike anything the survivors have ever seen before -- from razor-beaked shredder birds to carnivorous vines and much, much worse.

With danger at every turn, these eight kids must learn to work together to survive. But cliques and rivalries threaten to tear them apart. And not everyone will make it out of the jungle alive.



Protagonists: There are a LOT of characters in this story. On a crashed flight to Japan, eight teens are the only ones who seemed to have survived the wreckage. If their flight path is right they should be in a much colder climate, however, a quick look around shows that they are instead in a dense and odd jungle and a rescue seems unlikely. My biggest problem with this book wasn't the characters themselves, there's a highly diverse cast of characters who each add a special element to this story and have their own strengths and weaknesses. However, there are eight main characters and while it was easy to get a handle on a few of them, it didn't take too long before I started to mix up names and lose or mix up character descriptions. While it does get a bit better as the story proceeds, I really wish the cast of characters was cut down to a more manageable size.

World Building: I went into this book expecting something a bit more paranormal, however, I was mildly surprised and delighted to find a much more sci-fi book on my hands. The world building in this story is fantastic, as new discoveries are made the tone of the book only gets darker. It's sci-fi for sure but there's an element of a thriller in this story as well. The treats in this book are fantastically terrifying and while this is a bit more character driven, the world is still a bit of a character itself, but without much more than this strange jungle to explore and a rather short book there wasn't much more than terrifying sci-fi jungle cliches to experience for most of the book. The world building does get expanded toward the end, but talking about that would be a spoiler.

Predictability: Looking back over this book, I can't really remember a time when I predicted anything in this book. I don't mean that none of my predictions came true, more than I just never made predictions for this book. There were things I hoped to happen that either did or didn't, but since this is such a short book and there's a wide range of characters that we follow, there wasn't a whole lot of time to make predictions. That being said there were a bunch of twists to this story, with varying levels of shock and excitement from me, don't get me wrong there are some fantastic twists, but there are also moments that seem like twists, but never impacted me in that way.

Ending: As for the ending I never saw it coming and by that I mean I was listening to an audiobook from the library, I often switch if I have both physical/ebook and audiobook, and didn't realize the end was nigh. I could pinpoint a final climax and while it did have its intense moments I was hoping for something a bit more intense to send of this story with. I wanted something that would glue me to the page, or headphones as it was, and keep me captivated until the very last word. While I did enjoy the ending to this story and there is a fantastic and mind-boggling twist at the end of this story, I think I was just hoping for a more intense final action scene.


Due to a large (although diverse) cast of characters it was a bit hard to really get into this book but when I did it was a fun, action-packed ride, and while I had hoped for a more intense final climax, I'm excited to see where this story will go.


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