Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Review: Fear My Mortality (Frost)

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AUTHOR: Everly Frost
SERIES: Mortal Eternity, book 1
PUBLISHER: Month9 Books
PUBLICATION DATE: April 5, 2016
ISBN: 9781942664871
PAGES: 342
SOURCE: SLJ review copy
GENRE: sci-fi/action
SETTING: USA, distant future 
GIVE IT TO: I wouldn't recommend this for anyone.
SUMMARY: In the distant future, human bodies have evolved. We no longer die of illness or injury; instead, we are able to heal any wound when it happens. Some regenerate faster than others, but everyone has the ability to do it when needed. As a result, people live on for centuries. War is useless, and the countries live in relative peace with their neighbors. But when 16-year old Ava's brother Josh is murdered, Ava discovers that, like Josh, she carries a mortality gene. Now, the government seeks to study Ava's DNA in the hopes to develop a biological weapon that will make all their enemies mortal like Ava. After barely escaping with her life, Ava goes on the run with the only person willing to help her: the boy who murdered her brother.

WHAT I LIKED: This book has so many problems that I feel I cannot possibly list them all in a short review. To keep things fair, I will start with some positives:

  • It's fast-paced. There is so much action that it almost gets tiresome. Ava is captured, imprisoned, drugged, beat up, and shot at so many times, it's a wonder she could have possibly survived all that. In between these perilous scenes are some very brief moments of safety, just enough time for Ava to brush her teeth, call her best friend, or kiss her brother's murderer.

  • It starts out with a bang. A crash, actually. A little boy gets hit by a car, and his mother is more upset about the driver's insurance than the fact that her son is mangled underneath a car. That opening scene got my attention, and I had high hopes from the start.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Oh, I could write until tomorrow morning about all the problems I had with the book. I do feel I need to warn you...the rest of this review contains spoilers. If you plan to read this book, you may want to stop here.

SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!

Trying to keep it brief here, but it ain't easy...
  • The immortality. This is basically the premise of the book. If the reader doesn't believe the immortality is possible, the entire story falls apart. So if everyone is basically immortal, why do only Ava and Josh have this mortality gene? Why don't their parents have it? Do animals have it, too?

  • There's no population problem. People are still having children, but death rates are down significantly. If no one dies, then why isn't there a serious population problem?

  • The ambiguous setting. Though no year is given, it seems this book must be set centuries into the future. No one, not even Ava's 300-year old neighbor, can remember a time that people couldn't regenerate. So, if this is so far into the future, why do they still live in modern suburbs, drive modern cars, ride modern tricycles, text on modern cell phones, and use modern desktop computers?

  • The desire for war. The evil government (or corporation?) goes after Ava because her DNA can be passed along to other people. The government/evil corporation want to use Ava's mortality in a future war. But WHY do they want a war? And if they are into biological warfare, it seems there would be much more painful ways to harm people in a war situation than simply killing or injuring them. What about knocking down all their buildings? Demolishing their infrastructure? Cutting off their food or water supply? Wiping out their electricity?

  • The Bashers. What are they again? Are they bad? Are they terrorists, and if so, are they good or bad? Maybe they are fighting this evil government/ corporation?

  • The Implosion. This is some sort of ritual, public "first death" for teens when they reach a certain age. Everyone being Imploded wears black since they will be covered in blood. So, I'm guessing here, that someone kills the teens so they can regenerate? Why is that necessary? How is it done? If the teens had already had their "first death" (like the boy in the car accident in the first chapter), do they have to go to their Implosion?

  • Why didn't Josh tell Ava about their mortality and the evil government/corporation before her Implosion Day? It seems like escape would have been much more likely if they did it YESTERDAY.

  • Why does Ava trust Michael? He did murder her brother and all...

  • Why is Michael helping Ava? Oh, yeah, he feels guilty about killing her brother. But WHY did he kill her brother? Why was he even there in the first place?

  • Ava's parents. What is up with them? Their beloved son dies, which is unheard of in their world. So they are so grief-stricken that they do what? They drug Ava and abandon her in the middle of the night, taking furniture and computers with them. Oh, yeah, that makes loads of sense.

  • Reid, the soldier chasing after Ava. What's his motive? I get that he's crazy and evil, but that's about all we know about him. Oh, yeah, and he has red hair. That's mentioned once or twice or 85 times.

THE BOTTOM LINE: It's a mess. Skip it.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: No plans to get this one.

READALIKES: This reminds me of Price's Starters and Wiggins's Stung. I didn't like those, either, for the same reasons.

RATING BREAKDOWN:

  • Overall: 1/5
  • Creativity: 2/5
  • Characters: 1/5
  • Engrossing: 2/5
  • Writing: 2/5
  • Appeal to teens: 3/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 3/5

CONTENT:
  • Language: mild; I really don't remember any particular language
  • Sexuality: mild; some kissing and sleeping bag snuggling
  • Violence: high; Ava is chased, shot at, drugged, and beaten almost constantly.
  • Drugs/Alcohol: medium; Ava is drugged with experimental immortality serum called nectar.

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