Review: The Wicked We Have Done

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 Wicked We Have DoneThe Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian
Series: Chaos Theory #1
Published by InterMix on March 18, 2014
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

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.

Sarah Harian’s The Wicked We Have Done was available briefly as Read Now on NetGalley. I was just intrigued enough to download it and give it a shot. Actually, I sort of figured I’d end up DNFing, but I was curious and it was there. Despite the fact that the eARC I downloaded was rather painful on the eyes, due to tiny, gray font, I devoured The Wicked We Have Done. When I read thrillers, I like them psychological and Harian delivered.

Harian’s heroine Evalyn is accused of the murder of multiple people in a terrorist attack. Rather than face the trial anymore, where she suspects she will be found guilty, Evalyn agrees to the Compass Room. A new form of trial, Compass Rooms test whether the subjects are actually twisted or innocent of mind. The Compass Room weighs the brain and intentions, eliminating those who will never reform. The subjects must live through a full month in the Compass Room. Odds of doing so are slim, but survivors are believed innocent.

Foremost, The Wicked We Have Done is a fast-paced thriller, full of creepiness, mystery, and gore. Evalyn’s narration adds to the quick pace the action gives the book. She’s a very straight forward woman, not prone to flights of fancy or trips into metaphor. The writing is rather sparse, prone to short paragraphs and heavy on dialog. While the writing wouldn’t ordinarily work for me, I thought it fit Evalyn’s character really well.

I also just love this concept. It’s oh so dark and fascinating. While much of it requires some suspension of disbelief, I think both the idea of the Compass Rooms as an alternate to trials by jury and lifetime imprisonment/death row is a fascinating one. Plus, I love the dynamics of the accused criminals in the Compass Room. They have no reason not to work together, really, since there’s no limit to how many people can survive, but they’re also all accused criminals so trust doesn’t come easily.

The one downside for me was the romance, even though I was initially shipping it pretty hard. Unfortunately, the romance goes the way of instalove, which killed my interest in their relationship. Of course, there’s a side romance that will apparently be covered in a novella, for which I am hopeful because lesbians. You also might be side-eying the fact that there’s romance at all, but, hey, if death might be coming, why not get some last joy, right? I just wish the romance had kept the love declarations out, since the novel only has a brief time span.

The dark psychological mindfuckiness of The Wicked Have We Done captured my attention and didn’t let go. Some suspension of disbelief is required, but, to my mind, very well worth it. I will definitely be reading the sequel.

Favorite Quote:

Sociopaths and serial killers are the antithesis of good conversationalists.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

This is good orange is the new black

10 responses to “Review: The Wicked We Have Done”

  1. Kayla Beck says:

    I completely forgot about this book! I’m about to buy it because it’s super cheap on Amazon right now! *dances around*
    Kayla Beck recently posted…Blog Tour (Interview & Giveaway): Wakeworld by Kerry SchaferMy Profile

  2. I was thinking this could be really good or terrible. Glad to hear that it’s the first one. I love a psychological thriller!! I need more of them in YA!! I am not so much a fan of insta-love and love declarations after short periods of time… but I guess if the plot is really thrilling and addicting, I could look past it 🙂 Great Review!
    Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Book Blog) recently posted…Friday Rewind- What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah DessenMy Profile

  3. Ebony says:

    Great review Christina! I got this book off of netgalley also, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to read it yet, so my review will be up after the release day more than likely. I’m glad you enjoyed this book and I loved reading your thoughts on it!
    Ebony recently posted…Five Friday Favourites #5My Profile

  4. Kelly says:

    I love a good mindfuck! Especially in the form of a psychological thriller. That romance angle is definitely throwing me off a little though, but I think I’m still intrigued enough to keep an eye out for this one!
    Kelly recently posted…Book Review: AllegiantMy Profile

  5. This it the first thing I hear about this book and it already makes a good impression of me. What an interesting concept! I also enjoy psychological thrillers the most and this “full of creepiness, mystery, and gore” sounds exactly what I look for in such stories. The romance makes sense. If you might lose your life, why not enjoy your last moments. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention!
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Fairytale News 31. Changing older ratings?My Profile

  6. Thanks for your review! The concept sounds very intriguing and different – I’ll have to check it out. I wish the romance had worked out better for you though. :/

  7. Geez, Christina! I have this one (downloaded it when it was a Read Now on Netgalley) but I wasn’t really in any rush to get to it, but now you just had me hooked line and sinker! I love, love, love thrillers, especially if it explores the psychological aspect of the person. Concepts and stories like this give me a wild sense of thrill.

    Sucks regarding that romance, though. Insta-love again?! I really wish more authors would steer clear from it and would rather go for ones where there is a realistic development between the two parties. It probably happens in real life, okay, fine, but there is just so much of it right now in the market to last each and every one of us readers a lifetime.

    Great review as always! 😀
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…ARC Review: Wicked Little Secrets by Kara Taylor – Wickedly AwesomeMy Profile

  8. Lyn Kaye says:

    Kara liked this one, but Bekka didn’t. Gore usually doesn’t work for me, and neither does “She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either.”

    Thanks for putting in a good word for the book. 🙂
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah HarianMy Profile

  9. Bonnie says:

    Ew. Declarations of love. Boo all over that. Other than that though this one does sound super intriguing. I didn’t have high hopes for this one at first either so skipped out on snagging it on Netgalley. Love me some psychological thrillers.
    Bonnie recently posted…Book Review – Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh MafiMy Profile

  10. Mindfuckiness? Want! Although, insta-love, do not want.

    Although on balance, I think it’s a want.
    Kat (AussieZombie) recently posted…Showcase Sunday #71 – Business as UsualMy Profile

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