The Dirth, a virus that prevents infant females from being born has reduced the female population in a drastic way. Zoey lives with other six women in the Arc, a scientific compound where they are kept to be protected, investigate how to fight this virus and rebuild the world.
The women there are not only heavily protected, but isolated from the exterior world, not getting more information than the strictly necessary. Zoe feels that there is something important that they are not told, and she will try to discover and go against all the rules that were imposed on them.
The story builds up slowly, and we discover and guess things at the same time as Zoey. I like when we are not presented with all the information from the start, letting us make hypothesis. It is clear from the start that there is something fishy about the Ark, but with the little information we have from the start, it is impossible to know all the ramifications.
The first part of the book describes the life of Zoe in the Ark, her routines, her friends and enemies. As I said, the pace is slow, but the story is beautifully told, and I enjoyed it. The only problem is that after such a slow built up, it created many expectations, and I was a bit disappointed that in the end, we learned so little about how the world worked. We get all this information mostly in an indirect way, told by several of the characters, and this made it less intense, in my opinion.
There is some rivalry between some of the women at the Arc, and this is never fully explained. Some of it is completely normal in a group of people, but the deep hatred that Penny feels for Zoey is left unexplained. We do not know a lot about the other girls, and this is mainly the story of Zoey. Regardless the characters are alive and totally believable.
I did not understand why Zoey lied when she did it and I would not have done it, but it is true that things would have come out in a very different way otherwise.
There is a lot of killing in this book. There were characters that I wish I had the time to know them better, but they were killed, sometimes unexpectedly and, in my opinion, unnecessarily. This and the end were a bit anticlimatic.
Something that truly helped me to enjoy the book was Dara Rosenberg’s beautiful narration. Her speech is crystal clear, and she really becomes Zoey in this book. She also did all the voices and was able to transmit all the strong emotions in this story. The audio production was very good, and I would love to listen to another book narrated by Rosenberg.
Since this is just the first book in a trilogy I expect that we will learn more about the world Zoey lives in. I half expected this, and I do hope that we will get more answers in the next books, and I hope Joe Hart does not keep us waiting too long.
My name is Elena. Since I was a little child I loved science fiction and fantasy, and I can’t resist a good novel. In 2015, while wait I started to listen to audiobooks and I discovered the pleasure in being able to read while doing my daily tasks, so there’s always an audiobook playing on my phone. If you see me with my Bluetooth headphones on, please be gentle, I get easily startled.
I live with my boyfriend, which I met during my six-year stay in Belgium, four cockatiels, eight lovebirds, and a hamster in Madrid, Spain; and I like to spend my free time knitting and sewing while listening to audiobooks.