Review: The Deserter

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The DeserterThe Deserter by Peadar Ó Guilín
Series: The Bone World Trilogy #2
Published by David Fickling on March 13, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

To save his tribe, the cannibal Stopmouth must abandon it. Leaving the stone-age world of the Surface behind, he travels to the Roof, the mysterious hi-tech world suspended above. But the Roof has its own problems. The nanotechnology that controls it is collapsing. And now a rebellion against the ruling Commission is about to erupt.

Hunted by the Commission's nano-enhanced agents, Stopmouth must succeed in a desperate hunt of his own: to find the woman he loves. Only she knows how to save his tribe. But in this super-sophisticated world, all he has to fight with are his raw strength and fierce courage.

I didn’t particularly like The Inferior; although it was well done, I just had trouble relating to or getting into something so wildly different. My experience with The Deserter was better, probably largely due to the fact that I knew what to expect. Now, when I say better, I don’t mean that I loved it or even really liked it, but I did enjoy the experience more.

Ó Guilín deserves some serious praise, and I would like to start with that. Although I have not gotten into this series, his worldbuilding is simply amazing. A ton of work has gone into the Bone World Trilogy and it is really evident. This is much better thought out than a lot of the YA dystopias I’ve read. He keeps peeling back layers and revealing more sliminess and dystopian-ness at the core of this world. That is, simply put, astounding.

This book was a lot more interesting to me, largely because most of this book was spent in the Roof. The cannibals running around on the surface of the planet throughout book one were just too weird and creepy. The Roof, and its occasional parallels to our modern society’s ills, was much more captivating.

Still, the real downfall of the books for me, I think, is character. I’m through two fairly long books now, and I still just don’t especially care about anyone. Stopmouth and Indrani are okay; I do want them to win over the other people, but I am not hugely invested either way.

At this point, I’ll probably finish out the trilogy when book three comes out, just to check out the worldbuilding. If you’re fascinated by the feats of an author’s imagination, Ó Guilín’s books might be for you.

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