Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Aberrant (Aberrant #1) by Ruth Silver - Ashley's Review

*I received this book as an eARC from Patchwork Press on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Title: Aberrant
Author: Ruth Silver
Year Published: 2013

My Pre-Reading

In the future dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government's match in marriage and "The Day of the Chosen", a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn't existed in generations. 

Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she's arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from "The Day of the Chosen." The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system. 

With Joshua's help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. 

Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.


Review: This book really surprised me! Most of it was exactly what I expected, but other parts were even better. The situations are extraordinary, but Olivia and Joshua are very real and react to circumstances pretty much like you would imagine a couple of 18 year olds to react when they realize their whole life is a lie.

While the idea of the dystopian society isn't new, Ruth puts her own spin on things and makes something very common in YA literature a world all her own. I definitely felt the influence of big-name dystopia books in this one (Divergent kept coming to mind while I was reading), but the similarities are only enough that fans of one would probably enjoy the other. I really enjoyed the world building and learning about all of the different cities and types of people, even if we only got a small taste. 

The pacing is very quick and the plot moves along almost at breakneck speed, so it was a little difficult to keep up at times. One problem I had with the plot though was that the synopsis pretty much gives away the whole book. The twists and turns and big reveals aren't given away, but I always felt like I knew what was coming up even if I didn't know the path. Some of the twists surprised me, so that was nice. I wish the synopsis was shorter or less detailed or something because I want to be able to experience a book on my own. I don't want to be told what's going to happen step-by-step.

This book is from Olivia's perspective, and it was interesting to see things from the only natural-born girl in the world. The explanation as to why women are infertile is a little fast and not well explained, but I thought it was an interesting concept. I'm also really curious now to see if Olivia is actually able to have children naturally, and I hope this is explored more in the rest of the series! I really enjoyed seeing how she changed and matured after learning about her origin, her past, and then having to be on the run - twice. She still has quite a ways to go, I think, so it will be interesting to see how she handles new situations now that her world has been turned upside down. 

Josh, on the other hand, kind of drove me crazy. He was a pretty big jerk fairly often and I kind of wanted Olivia to just slap him. I mean, he eventually shapes up and stops making jokes that could be very hurtful, but still. He acts like he's 12 instead of 18 sometimes and it's really annoying. The romance between him and Olivia is totally understandable an comfortable though, since they became best friends at 5 and have been basically inseparable since then so that didn't bother me once he started acting his age. 

I would definitely recommend this book to fans of the popular dystopian books, like Divergent or The Hunger Games, especially if you're looking for a little sci-fi thrown in. I think fans of Crewel would also enjoy this book. It was a quick, engaging read, so it would be a perfect candidate for someone looking for an afternoon read. I'm looking forward to reading Moirai next! 3/5


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