June 21, 2010
Review: The Pack by LM Preston
Author: LM Preston
Publisher: Phenomenal One Press
Shamira is considered an outcast by most, but little do they know that Shamira is on a mission. Kids on Mars are disappearing, but Shamira decides to use the criminals most unlikely weapons against them, the very kids of which they have captured. In order to succeed, she is forced to trust another, something she is afraid to do. However, Valens her connection to the underworld of her enemy, proves to be a useful ally. Time is slipping, and so is her control on the power that resides within her. Yet, in order to save her brother's life she is willing to risk it all.
I was very pleasantly suprised by this book! Within a few pages I was taken with the main character Shamira and her personality. Sure at the start she had quite an attitude, but she was working to do the right thing, so I cut her some slack. I loved that she was blind because it was nice to see someone have a "handicap" that wasn't really a handicap. Because of that I was a bit disappointed that she was given her eye sight back so early on. The interesting thing about that though - getting her eye sight back made her more humble and likeable. Usually a loss of eye sight is used to humble a character, but it was the opposite here. It took a girl that bordered on the edge of being overbearing and caused her to step back and reach out to others. That was a nice change from what you might normally see in a character. Her growth continued as the book progressed. Sharima at the end fo the book was one that grew in the right ways.
I found the setting, Mars, pretty realistic. Sometimes when I read science fiction I have a real hard time relating to the world it's set it, but I didn't find that a problem here. The author did a good job explaining Mars without going over descriptive or changing so much that the reader is left feeling lost. There was enough Earth-like parts of Mars that I easily followed along. This was the same for the inclusion of advanced technology. Some fun advanced techonology was used but not to a degree that it seemed overdone or even cheesy. A few times I found myself wishing I had that technology or lived on Mars!
As for the plot - it was engaging, fast paced and well crafted. The pieces seemed to fit together well without huge holes or unrealistic events. It all seemed plausable. Well after I set aside the idea that these were kids! But even with that, it was fine. Things could've felt rushed, but the pace was kept even all of the way through the story. There were very few lags, so I didn't have myself getting bored. The ending didn't feel rushed, and it wrapped up nicely. There could be more books to follow, or just this one would work too!
One other note - I really liked Valens the boy working with Shamira. He played off of her character nicely. I also liked how their relationship progressed. It was fun to watch it grow.
Final thought: Fast paced suspenseful story that was fun to read
Best stick-with-you image: The color of her eyes
Best for ages: 12+ Definately more upper MG/younger YA
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