Monday, September 15, 2014

*Gizmos Book Reviews* The Wicked We Have Done (Chaos Theory, #1) by Sarah Harian

**I received this E-book for free from Penguin/InterMix Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**


Twenty-two-year-old Evalyn Ibarra never expected to be an accused killer and experimental prison test subject. A year ago, she was a normal college student. Now she’s been sentenced to a month in the compass room—an advanced prison obstacle course designed by the government to execute justice.

If she survives, the world will know she’s innocent.

Locked up with nine notorious and potentially psychotic criminals, Evalyn must fight the prison and dismantle her past to stay alive. But the system prized for accuracy appears to be killing at random.

She doesn’t plan on making friends.

She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either.

*My Thoughts*

Sarah Harian has created a world where 15-years ago, government scientists created a system that was able to sort out the innocent, from the guilty. Convicted felons are given a choice by the Division of Judicial Technology: spend the rest of your life in prison, or face the Compass Room. The CR forces the participants to face the victims of their crimes in a diabolical and bloody manner. For those who survive the month within the arena of the CR, they go free. Simple right?

22-year old Evalyn Ibarra is the primary character of The Wicked We Have Done. Her momentarily lapse of good judgement while in college caused the death of an innocent teacher and the loss of her freedom. We are told that she is a mass murderer/terrorist because she lead the slaughter of 56 teachers, and students deaths. We are told that she is an uncaring, immoral, and unfeeling killer who needs to die for her crimes against humanity. In fact, she does feel guilty for her participation, and the desire to live isn't high on her list of priorities. So, choosing to face the CR, knowing that death is a distinct possibility, shouldn't surprise anyone.   

At this point, I found myself not giving a shit whether or not Evalyn lived or died. Without any facts to support up my anger, I would have recommended that Evalyn be sent to the Death chamber for her actions. I will probably get booed, and unfollowed for saying this BUT, I do believe in the death penalty in cases of rape, child molestation, murder of police officers, child trafficking, and acts of terrorism against innocent human beings. I think we as a society need to get rid of the electric chair and lethal injections. I believe we should find an easier way to rid society permanently of the scum of the earth which doesn't include tax payer funded 3 meals a day, free TV, and an education throughout life in prison.

Harian's cast of felons include Casey the love interest, Valerie, Jace, and Tanner who have all been charged with everything from rape, to murder, to vehicular homicide, to burning down their own home. Harian chooses to switch from the present to the past with flashbacks of Evalyn's path to a very bad choice and why she seems so determined that the CR kill her without hesitation. Personally, I found a part of this equation lacking, and that was Nick's involvement. Who was he really? Why did he want to create chaos? Why did he pick Evalyn and her best friend Meghan?

Because this is a part of a series, it was obvious that certain aspects about Evalyn's past, and what actually happened on that fateful day, would remain hidden from readers until Harian had no choice but to let go of the secret. Evalyn is a character whose remorse is built in the walls that she puts up around herself to show that she wants to die and isn't afraid. She shows no emotions because she is guilty of killing someone and nothing, no matter what really happened on that fateful day, will change her mind. But, she's also determined to figure out a way to help her fellow inmates who she becomes friends with in finding a way out of the CR alive. She finds courage in the face of hardship. She comes to learn the facts behind the CR, and helps make some sound decisions for the group. 

There is romance built into the story that leads to sexual escapades, and perhaps a bit of insta-romance on the part of both parties. Once again I say to the diversity deniers that you just need to look around and you will easily find it in the most unusual places. The romance is not only between a younger guy and an older woman, but also between two women which was just plain adorable. To anyone who has spoken out against my lack of reading diversity, it's obvious you don't follow me close enough. 

I am tired of the comparisons being made to The Hunger Games. I refuse to accept the comparisons and wish that readers would post their reviews based on the creativity of the author and the story itself. THG was based on a society that continues to pay the ultimate price for a bloody rebellion. Harian's society is perhaps overwhelmed by chaos, and decided to do something about it even though some end up being released back into society by on moral codes. Nobody is FORCING them to face each other in a game of kill, or be killed! I get the disconnect some readers feel as well. There should be no allowances for those who intentionally murder or rape anyone. The CR takes judgment out of the hands of authorities, and puts it into the hands of those who are anything but innocent of their crimes. 

I've been approved for A Vault of Sins (Chaos Theory #2) so I shall be reading that story next. Let the journey continue

Author - Sarah Harian   Title - The Wicked We Have Done   Series - Chaos Theory # 1   Published by Penguin/InterMix Books   Released: March 18, 2014   Genre: Speculative, New Adult   Format: E-Book 244 pages

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