Friday, August 2, 2013

Review: Safe

The earthquakes that destroyed the world are history to Penny, something to ponder on while she lives in the colony trying to follow the rules and do her part to keep civilization alive. She feels content knowing that her intelligence and her boyfriend James' strength have set them up with good careers. The vaccine now integrated into their DNA keeps them safe from illnesses that wiped out so many lives. Everything changes, though, when Penny is taken from her home on the pretense of being sick and faces either exile or execution. Either option is terrifying, but the secrets Penny uncovers may be even more frightening. 

Set after the world has been destroyed by earthquakes, Penny's life in the colony is quite interesting. The society and laws were carefully planned out to give the community a stable, but somewhat eerie feel. This is the life Penny is used to, but readers get the impression that everything isn't as is seems early on. Readers wont be let down by the myriad of lies and half-truths Penny uncovers as she fights to escape the colony before she is killed. 

The characters in this book were interesting as well. Penny is a likable character form the start. She is rather naive, but in a believable way, and she has other characters like Lucan to contrast her desire to believe the best about people and the situation they are in. Lucan was a great character as well. I enjoyed his playful attitude, yet serious resourcefulness. He added lightness when it was needed and strength when Penny needed him. James, Penny's boyfriend, was a little harder for me to connect with. He's rather serious and not terrible affectionate, so I think some readers will have a harder time warming up to him. I'm interested to see how his character develops and whether or not Penny stays with him. 

The adventure throughout the book was well paced after an initially slow first chapter of introducing readers to Penny's world. The action flowed well from scene to scene, and Husted provided lulls when the characters needed to breathe and contemplate what was happening. The overall idea of the book was very interesting. I suspected from the beginning that there would be something of a twist, and indeed there was. Several. Before Penny leaves the colony, her father tells her that her sister, whom she believed was dead, is still alive. Penny's journey to find her proves quite interesting. 

There were a few scenes toward the end where I thought the emotion from the characters didn't reach it's full potential, and the last few chapters seemed a little slow, but overall I enjoyed this book. It was a fast, entertaining read, and aside from some editing errors, was an enjoyable book. I'm interested to see how this series progresses and where Penny ends up in the end. 

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