Source: Random House Kids – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was received.
Publisher: Random House Kids
Edition: Hardcover, 240 pages
Genre: Young Adult Post Apocalyptic Adventure
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Fans of James Dashner’s Maze Runner series will love this postapocalyptic adventure about a girl who must survive an alien planet in order to save the Earth.
Ana only knows her name because of the tag she finds pinned to her jumpsuit. Waking in the featureless compartment of a rocket ship, she opens the hatch to discover that she has landed on a barren alien world. Instructions in her pocket tell her to observe and to survive, no doubt with help from the wicked-looking knives she carries on her belt. But to what purpose?
Meeting up with three other teens–one boy seems strangely familiar–Ana treks across the inhospitable landscape, occasionally encountering odd twists of light that carry glimpses of people back on Earth. They’re working on some sort of problem, and the situation is critical. What is the connection between Ana’s mission on this planet and the crisis back on Earth, and how is she supposed to figure out the answer when she can’t remember anything?
Paradox is unique, intense and fast paced post apocalyptic adventure that takes us across the landscape of Paradox, where Ana and three other teens must survive in order to complete their mysterious mission. However they run into trouble in the form of one seriously huge and persist ant worm.
Paradox is written in 3rd person, which is a bit odd at first and I did initially have some trouble falling into the story but once it got started and the mystery becomes incredibly thick I couldn’t put it down. This is the sort of book where you truly have no idea what’s happening until it’s revealed piece by piece, you have to wait it out. It’s a bit frustrating at first because there is clearly some info not being shared but at the same time it pushed me to keep reading until the last page. The overall plot I thought was fantastic, it’s certainly different and not at all what I was expecting.
The planet of Paradox is a beautifully odd place and extremely creepy at times. I love the details that Paquette gives us from the pink sky to the shifting purple sands. The one down fall with the world building is the lack of actual explanation as to what is happening. There are a few ‘news clippings’ in between chapters that clue you in on things happening on Earth before and after the initial exploration trips, and it helped explain some things but I think I would have liked some more overall.
As the summary says we meet Ana when she has no memory of who she is or why she is on the planet of Paradox, and I initially worried about how much I was actually going to get to know her. However she turned out to be a great character. She’s strong, brave, and very willing to go the distance needed in order to survive. All she has is basic ‘muscle memory’ which clues her in on the type of person she use to be. It’s really interesting to watch her deal with the memory loss and find comfort in things she doesn’t remember doing but feels familiar with. I will say that I don’t truly know Todd, Ysa, and Chen all that well, and while it didn’t detract from the story as I read it…it is a bit odd once I finished it. There are some slight sprinkles of romance, but not very much and the few moments given are sweet and hopeful.
By the time I put this down and close the cover for good I was incredibly impressed with the way things turned out, because I didn’t really expect it to go the way it did. It’s a quick read that I blazed through with every free moment I got and I had a hard time pulling myself away from it.