Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Book Review: Reckoning By Kerry Wilkinson

The Prime Minster is now a transformer.
Woman, not 16 year old girl.

In the village of Martindale, hundreds of miles north of the new English capital of Windsor, sixteen-year-old Silver Blackthorn takes the Reckoning. This coming-of-age test not only decides her place in society – Elite, Member, Inter or Trog – but also determines that Silver is to become an Offering for King Victor. But these are uncertain times and no-one really knows what happens to the teenagers who disappear into Windsor Castle. Is being an Offering the privilege everyone assumes it to be, or do the walls of the castle have something to hide? Trapped in a maze of ancient corridors, Silver finds herself in a warped world of suspicion where it is difficult to know who to trust and who to fear. The one thing Silver does know is that she must find a way out . . .

I hate when people blindly tell you something is a mix of two other books but this book did remind me very much of Hunger Games by Suzanne Colins and Pawn by Aimie Carter. Basically, Typical Dystopia set up.  Set after some sort of civil/global war, most people are hungry and impoverish, the ruling government is lying to you and is incredibly corrupt.  The catalase for all this is, oil has run out, I don’t buy that much because they actually alternative to most oil products but you know it doesn’t matter how and why. It’s just how things are now. It just has certain of aspects of those two books but it does become its own novel once you really get into it. Also Pawn only came out last January so it’s probably a coincidence that they both have tests in them, that classify your rank in society.

This is set in England.  Now I say England because the top half of Britain a.k.a Scotland a.k.a my homeland is not part of this government and we never actually go where Wales is. England and Wales have been spit to four realms. Sometimes in books, it's the off-hand comments are what stick with me. Map of England & Wales is shown; something like a Scotland use to be a top is said. So now I’m left wondering if Scotland is literally gone (in this world places have been completely destroyed) or is its own country and there is a guarded border. This is a start of a series so hopefully we learn that and stuff about other countries. The civilians have no contract with people from other countries so have no idea what happening out there except going off what knew before they were cut off. In times of war sharing a border does make things interesting; I feel like that could be a feature in the next books.

The world building in this book is interesting. I’ve got to say going off the given summary I don’t fully get that it’s a dystopian. Basically, it has the fun of a dystopian set in a castle. Except for that it doesn’t have medieval vibe at all. Class stuff does sort of play into it, with the Elites tending to come from families of Elites and be raised to think the better than everyone else. It doesn’t play much in the actual story as you think it would because the situation of the castle levels out everyone.

The character all seem to have some depth. I think the relationships are well done. They all fairly realistic and no one does something completely mind dumbing for the sake of the plot. There is one case of someone does deciding to reveal information at the perfect time for the plot though. I don’t care that much for Sliver but the world is interesting enough to out balance that.

Overall, I gave this book four out of five stars for Minster Primes. This was good start of a trilogy (the Sliver Blackthorn Trilogy if you're wondering). Main plot points of that book are resolved but there tons left to be developed on.

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