Book Reviews, Reviews

Review: Icons (Margaret Stohl)

Review: Icons Amazon| Goodreads

Summary (From
Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol’s family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn’t know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside — safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can’t avoid.

She’s different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador’s privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn’t a coincidence. It’s a conspiracy.

Within the Icon’s reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions — which they’ve always thought to be their greatest weaknesses — may actually be their greatest strengths.

Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts — in order to save the future.

Author: Margaret Stohl
Length: 428 pages
Series: #1 in the Icons series
Source: NetGalley

Plot: ★★
Characters: ★
Readability: ★
Overall: ★

My opinion:

I really really really wanted to like Icons, but I just didn’t enjoy it.  It’s averaging 3.5/5 on goodreads though, with lots of 5 star reviews already, so you may personally love it even though it wasn’t for me.

I enjoyed the first few chapters, the world-building and the character introductions, but around the time Dol arrives at the Institute the plot seemed to slow down dramatically, and didn’t keep me gripped at all.  I literally forced myself to sit down and power on until the final 25% or so managed to eventually recapture my interest.  All in all it ended up taking me nearly 2 weeks to finish.

I liked the format of the novel, with the reports interspersed but the story itself was just too slow and vague for me. While I can understand a certain amount of ambiguity to keep a reader guessing, when I was still unclear more than halfway through, I started to get frustrated with it. There were times that I was just baffled by what was going on! At the end of the book there are still a lot of unanswered questions, and considering how slow Icons felt, I think it may have been better as a stand-alone.  I don’t honestly feel like anything really happened until the final 25% or so.

I didn’t really connect with any of the characters except Doc, and despite the novel’s generally slow pacing, the relationships felt rushed and forced. Lucas and Dol’s attraction baffled me completely; I I couldn’t understand where their feelings came from.  Similarly, Ti’s feelings towards Dol seemed to change lightning-fast for no clear reason, though Ti was one of the most interesting characters overall.  I didn’t dislike Dol, but she didn’t really have any impact on me either.  I did dislike her treatment of Ro, as I felt like her words said one thing and her actions another.

I loved the premise of Icons, and I enjoyed both the first and last few chapters.  However, to be completely honest, I didn’t enjoy those sections enough to balance out how slow I found the majority of the novel.  Icons definitely left me curious, and the series has great potential, so I’ll probably read the next book when it comes into the library. Based on Icons though, I’ll definitely be reading before I buy.

Buy it? Definitely a library book for me.
In a nutshell: The premise sounded fantastic but didn’t live up to my expectations.
I preferred: 0.4 and The 5th Wave

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