August 26, 2016 by Betty
Title : Children of Icarus
Author : Caighlan Smith
Publication date : August 1st 2016
Publisher : Switch Press
Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy
Synopsis : It is Clara who is desperate to enter the labyrinth and it is Clara who is bright, strong, and fearless enough to take on any challenge. It is no surprise when she is chosen. But so is the girl who has always lived in her shadow. Together they enter. Within minutes, they are torn apart forever. Now the girl who has never left the city walls must fight to survive in a living nightmare, where one false turn with who to trust means a certain dead end. (From Goodreads)
I decided to write this review right off the bat, because I just finished Children of Icarus and everything is fresh in my mind. I received this book as an eARC from Netgalley to give an honest review. Here goes.
To start, let me state that I had no earthly idea whatsoever on what this book was about. I had already forgotten what the synopsis said and upon finishing the book I went back and read it again. Suffice it to say, that clearly it was the most vague summary I have ever read. Which is fine. Leaves you guessing all the way, right?
Let me tell you, it was certainly different. Something I noticed about three chapters in is the fact that you don’t know the protagonist’s name. She allows herself to be called by a different name, and it made me think, “Wait? Did they mention her name and I totally missed it?” The answer is no. She remains unnamed throughout the entire book. When I discovered this I thought, “Cool. I can live with it.”
The story can best be described as a sort of mash up of various dystopian novels/series. (I don’t even like dystopian novels!) Mainly THE MAZE RUNNER! Definite elements were similar, what with the labyrinth and all the monster creatures. A dash of Divergent with the “wall” they cross that keeps them separated from the rest of the world when entering the labyrinth that they can get back to because they will be gunned down. I did note that if there was a goal or point with this story, it was lost to me completely. The author gives no indication whatsoever for the reason the children are sent into the labyrinth or why it even exists. Nobody seems to know.
The characters were interesting to say the least. The main character is something of a shrinking violet/ damsel in distress. She does not excel in anything, is not strong of character, nor is she firm in her beliefs. She’s scared, cowardly, unsure of herself and traumatized. However, I found it slightly endearing because she is quite realistic in that sense. There are plenty of people in the world who are weak in character and easily bullied, yet they are rarely the focus of a book or movie. Not so in this case. As for the other characters, there were a few I found passably acceptable, such as Theo, Andrea and Cassie. There were also many that were mean, cruel and harsh, such as Collin, **cough cough SPOILER cough cough** Jay, and Addie. Ryan wasn’t too bad because he was very up front and didn’t try to pretend to be friendly or caring.
In conclusion, Children of Icarus is a very unique and yet graphically detailed book. Lots of death and massacre and blood and gore. So beware on that front. Also, I don’t even know if it is a standalone or part of a series. The ending allows for it to go either way. If it is a standalone, then it just leaves you wondering what the fate of all the characters is, because nothing is resolved. Just a few things slightly clarified. Has anyone else read it? What did you think of it?