January 8, 2015

e-ARC Review of The Prey by Tom Isbell

Release Date: January 20, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 416
Format: e-ARC
Genre: YA
A hot debut trilogy and a riveting story of survival, courage, and romance in a future where creating a master civilization is the only thing prized, no matter the method. After the Omega (the end of the end), 16 year old guys known as LTs discover their overseers are raising them not to be soldiers (lieutenants) as promised, but to be sold as bait because of their Less Than status and hunted for sport. They escape and join forces with a girls’ camp, the Sisters, who have been imprisoned and experimented on for the "good of the Republic," by a government eager to use twins in their dark research. In their plight for freedom, these heroes must find the best in themselves to fight against the worst in their enemies.
*an e-ARC of this book was given to me via Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review*

Did this book have promise? Yes. Did it in any way live up to even half of that? Not in any way, shape, or form. The Prey by Tom Isbell was one of my greatest disappointments of 2014 (although it comes out 2015), the book seemed genuinely interesting to me and the cover wasn't bad either. I started reading it, expecting maybe a sub-par book at worst but I was left with an undeveloped bundle of words on paper. I'm surprised myself that I didn't DNF it but somehow I kept on going and didn't stop despite the fact that I very much so did want to.

From the start I noticed that The Prey was written to fit in with the more popular and "mainstream" dystopian genre books like Hunger Games and the Maze Runner hence the reason why it was compared to the two. Background information and background stories to the book were minimal and the whole setting of the book was unoriginal. The style of writing and the way the story was presented made me want to stop reading and I'm sure it'll do the same to most other people. Obviously had a very post apocalyptic feel to it but didn't add in anything to make it unique from all the other legions of dystopian and post apocalyptic books out there. World building and settings in a book are one of the most crucial parts for me and this book easily failed in that part.

The characters were equally as bad as the world building in The Prey, don't even get me started on the number of characters that were in the book. I don't have anything against a big number of characters but a lot of them were barely written about yet were in a quarter or more of the book. No back stories, no development, no character arcs. The main characters were barely better, a feeble attempt at romance and development was barely OK. Book and Hope, even their names managed to annoy me somehow. Once again a fail in another crucial part to a book.

If there is a sequel I will definitely not be buying it, I probably won't even buy this one when it comes out in hardcover. I really recommend that no one try reading this book unless you're like to take chances and don't mind DNF'ing. I'll leave you guys with a small sample of quotes that I found interesting to say the least from The Prey:

"Major Karsten looked right at us, his anvil-shaped face skeletal in appearance."

"[they] slid him into the Humvee like a pan of dough going into an oven." 

"both girls are sucking wind," and "he sipped a breath."

1/5 - Really bad book

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