Greta is a duchess and crown princess—and a hostage to peace. This is how the game is played: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Go to war and your hostage dies.
Greta will be free if she can survive until her eighteenth birthday. Until then she lives in the Precepture school with the daughters and sons of the world’s leaders. Like them, she is taught to obey the machines that control their lives. Like them, she is prepared to die with dignity, if she must. But everything changes when a new hostage arrives. Elián is a boy who refuses to play by the rules, a boy who defies everything Greta has ever been taught. And he opens Greta’s eyes to the brutality of the system they live under—and to her own power.
As Greta and Elián watch their nations tip closer to war, Greta becomes a target in a new kind of game. A game that will end up killing them both—unless she can find a way to break all the rules.
DNF at 75% because I’m so bored. No stars if I could. I’m so confused. And I just don’t care.
A sonic boom.
It crashed into us like a slap to the ear. The stuck goat shouted. From the trees all around, loose apples pattered down. Grego bolted for the edge of the grove, leaving Atta alone with the ladder.
We all wanted to go with him, of course, but—
“Wait! The goat!” I called.
My classmates stopped and turned and looked at me. On their faces, varying degrees of annoyance, resignation, and respect sorted themselves into agreement, obedience. This is what it is like, in my experience, to speak as royalty. Even to other royalty.
“Our duty is with the goat,” I said.
The summary of the book makes it sound pretty great. The reality about this book is that it’s about a bunch of kids living their life in a nonsensical and supremely confusion faux-dystopian world who have been sheltered their entire life with the knowledge that they are “hostages.” A new stranger comes into their midst to be rebellious and get punished by the hostages’ keepers and to tell them that THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM. Gasp. Shock. Horror. Awe. Such a thing has never happened before in dystopian fiction.
And there’s a love triangle. And goats. Do you like goats? Do you really, really like goats? There’s a lot of them. There arehundreds of mentions of goats in this book. Honestly, the goats are probably the most exciting thing in this book because nothing happens in this book at all.
Seriously. The kids talk to each other. They have their lessons. They’re slightly rebellious. They get punished. They take care of goats. They gather fruits and vegetables. The end.
But the fun had gone out of things. A few shocks, distributed at random; the knowledge that we were watched; the fact that we had been raised better (or if not better, at least differently)—these overcame us. The Children of Peace could not easily be silly, and our silliness fell apart.
The evening found us bruised and quiet, spread out in groups or pairs on the spattered grass, eating our former ammunition—chunks of watermelon and muskmelon warmed by the bronze sun. Even this was unlike us—unstructured, unrationed eating, outdoors. But we could not waste so much food. We scattered up and down the garden terraces; we lay in the goat-cropped grass and were happy.
Yeah. That’s what happens for the majority of the book! Exciting! There are 7 of them and I can hardly tell them apart. There is no character to any of them. No life. No soul.
You know who else is soulless? The main character, Greta. That’s bound to spell doom for any book. It’s just so fucking boring. I’ve read some reviews that rave about Talis. I don’t understand it. Talis is hardly a character.
The conspiracy and the world building is so fucking confusing. I can hardly keep track of anything. It’s both too simplistic and too complex, if that makes any sense. The shitstorm that happened to create this shithole of the setting in this book is just plain dumb and wouldn’t hold water. No pun intended.
It started when the ice caps melted. We saw it coming, and we were braced for the long catastrophe, but in the end it came unbelievably fast. All of a sudden there were whole populations under water.
Because that’s the best explanation EVER of how robots took over the world. And the world building. My lord. It’s so awful. So there are a bunch of countries at war and each kingdom offers their kid as hostage and somehow there’s a big bad robot who saved everything? Huh? And this country is allied to that country and this place is at war with that and…
The Cumberland Alliance emerged from a regional shakeup among the losing parties. Like many nations it was defined by water: in this case, the drainage of the Ohio River basin. It stretched south to Nashville and north to Cleveland, with a capital at Indianapolis and a military-industrial center at Pittsburgh.
I don’t even care what happens. I don’t even care that I can flip to the end to find out the conclusion. Bye.