At first I liked this series. I found all the dystopian stuff really fun. Aria’s world inside the safety of a sterile dome was really interesting. Everyone was attached these sci-fi synthetic eyes that pretty much acted as virtual reality screens hooked up to the internet. They were able to visit “Realms”, which were like internet sites, and interact with other people in a completely virtual setting. These people were the ultimate gamers. I could totally see technology going this way one day. And it kind of makes me sad.
Anyway, something bad happens to Aria and her mother, so Aria is forced to leave the relative safety of her dome and go out into the outer wasteland, where she meets Perry and other outsiders. And we find out that the outsiders live like they’re medieval or something. No modern technology whatsoever and some weird supernaturaly things going on. Some people had super-human hearing or smell or sight or could even read minds. The dome people just had brain damage. Go figure.
I liked the world Rossi created. All the sci-fi stuff made fictional sense. I bought it. The story at times almost had a fantasy element to it, with all the traipsing around in the woods and survival story stuff. There was a whole bunch of futuristic technology, a couple of different dystopian societies, a pretty serious apocalyptic theme and a bit of romance. There’s a lot going on here. It had a lot of potential.
But then there were the characters. I didn’t feel that any of them were very well-rounded. Not all of them were flat, exactly, but none of them were really three dimensional, either.
The main problems I had with series were to do with the relationship. Aria and Perry went from hating each other to loving each other way too quickly. I mean, it was abrupt and maybe a bit awkward. Because they really hated each other. And then they were completely in love. And I lost the connection somewhere in there. But then they were hot and cold all the time. It was kind of like Rossi couldn’t figure out how to create a movable plot or conflict without the lovers fighting or deciding to leave each other. Over and over again.
In the beginning Roar provided a lot of comic relief but then he just got depressing. Understandably so, but yikes. I didn’t really like the way his storyline played out. It was sad. And felt unnecessary.
Once I arrived at the final book I was kind of over the whole thing. It was whiney, contrived, dumb and even a bit ridiculous. I did read the whole thing but, really, I don’t think I should have. The third book usually redeems a series but this one just… didn’t. It got worse. The end was just so unbelievable, and yet, predictable. I thought up a few different endings that would have given the story more poetic justice and have been less cheesy. Rossi should have planned the ending out a lot better.
Sexual Content: Moderate (knowledge that characters had sex)
Language: Moderate (although it may have all been weird sci-fi slang)