Thursday, May 21, 2015

*Book Review* The Fearless by Emma Pass (YA Dystopian)

Series:  Unknown
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Released: April 14, 2015
Source: NetGalley
Format: E-Book, 368 pages
Genre: Young Adult

This fast-paced futuristic thriller tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cass and her fight to protect her younger brother from an unimaginably terrifying enemy.

The Deadliest Enemy feels no fear.

When the Fearless invaded, they injected everyone in their path with the same serum that stripped them of humanity.

Life became a waking nightmare.

Cass has the invasion seared in her memory. Seven years later, she and her brother, Jori, are living on Hope Island in a community of survivors. No one can enter, and no one can leave.

It's the only way to stay safe.

But when Hope Island's security is breeched and Jori is taken by the Fearless, Cass will risk everything to get him back.

Sometime in a not too far away future, scientists were paid by governments from around the world to came up with a drug to combat the effects of PTSD which affects a large group of returning soldiers. It worked really well. Perhaps too well since the soldiers taking the serum lost their ability to fear, or feel any sort of emotions. Soon, however, things went to hell in a hand basket after the bad guys got hold of the serum, and started tweaking it.

By tweaking the serum, they created a whole new breed of living called the Fearless, who tore through country after country without anyone being able to stop them. The Fearless are strong, quick, and can see in the dark. The last country to fall to the Fearless, was England where the story takes place.  

17-year old Cassandra *Cass* Hollencourt is one of a group of people who escaped the Fearless onslaught, but lost her father and later her mother. Now, Cass and her 7 year old brother Jori live on Hope Island which was created for just this situation. Cass and the rest of the survivors, including her best friend Solomon, live by rules such as not allowing anyone to leave the island, and not allowing anyone to come to the island except barterers who bring much needed supplies to Hope. 

But when a mysterious boy arrives (Myo), and the Fearless break in and kidnap her brother Jori, Cass tosses all the rules aside and puts her trust into a boy she barely knows. Cass & Myo must search for Jori before the Fearless injects him with a new serum that will forever alter and change him into a Fearless. But, Myo has his own secrets, and struggles. He too is searching for someone important and won't stop until he finds her. The question is whether or not HIS secret will cause Cass to lose faith in him, or whether she can put aside his lies and trust him to do what's right.

As a main character, Cass is a likable heroine who makes plenty of mistakes but never gives up on her desire to find Jori. By the end of the story, Cass is a very different person from the one at the beginning of the book. Then again, when you are constantly running and hiding and fighting for your life and finding out even more secrets about who created the serum and how it got out, it tends to change the way you look at people, or trust those who claim they are only trying to help, or even the boy who holds his own secrets that may rip their friendship apart. 

The Fearless is a Post-Apocalyptic novel since the story starts in the real world, and then falls apart. The Fearless is told not only from Cass's POV, but from Myo and Sol's as well. This in turn allows Pass to switch to another characters POV at an important time in the story, whereas if she remained just with Cass, readers would have no understanding about what Myo and Sol were thinking. Readers really DO need to understand why Sol and Myo are important not only to the story, but to Cass as well. 

You know there are just some things that irk me like nobody's business, and I need to vent just a bit. Feel free to skip over this part. I won't take it personally. 

1. Not knowing if this is a standalone, a duology, or part of a series. If you're going to add this book to Goodreads, or Amazon or any place else, how about double checking with the author, or publisher to ensure that you get all the facts straight first, including the ISBN? How utterly annoying is it that you can't find anything on possible sequels for The Fearless on Goodreads, Amazon, or the authors web page? Are we supposed to PRESUME that that's the end of the series, or are we are supposed to make up our own ending to the story? 

2. Male characters who treat women like property. Cass's best friend Sol is a bit over-possessive of Cass. When she doesn't return his affection, he slowly but surely turns surly. Let's consider that Cass lost nearly her entire family, while Sol still has his father. Men who have anger issues don't appeal to me at all. I don't care if you are friends with someone. It doesn't give you the right to punch a hole in the wall, or to threaten the girl who has known you for years. Sol, needless to say, was not my favorite character of this story. 

3. PLEASE. STOP. COMPARING. BOOKS. to The Hunger Games, Matched, Divergent, and The Fifth Wave!! It has absolutely no bearing on this book. Did The Hunger Games have zombie like human beings? Nope. The Fifth Wave was about Aliens. Are their aliens in The Fearless? Nope. So, reviewers, and publishers alike, just because you say something compares to another book, doesn't make it reality.

The Fearless was my first travels into Emma Pass's world building and story telling. I can actually see this particular situation happening with all the wars that we have been experiencing for the past 14 years. I also don't trust any government to do what's in the best interest of its citizens. Too many politicians and scientists answer to Big Money, and not the little person.

In the end, while the story was entertaining, and had plenty of action, I can't help but wonder why we're not being told if there is a sequel to the story or not. You can not expect readers not to have issues with the not knowing. Also, the beginning really hooked me, and then let me go for awhile. Then, the ending once again picked up and left a major hole wondering what's going to happen next. Let's hope Pass and the author have plans for a sequel. 

**I received this book for free from (Delacorte Books for Young Readers) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

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