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review 2016-11-04 05:23
Another dystopian teen meh
Wither (Chemical Garden) - Lauren DeStefano

It wasn't BAD. It wasn't good in any different or outstanding way either. Too many of it's type crowding the shelves, and some of them are decidedly better.

 

There were some nice bits on the relative strengh of the realtionships betweend sister wives and wife and husband, and there was some ring of truth in the blurriness between a self preserving act, compassion and true caring.

 

Most lacked any meat for me, and since it was set up as a first volume and little else, it did little to satisfy me in any respect unless I choose to follow up, and I really don't intend to.

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text 2016-04-02 22:37
Reading progress update: I've read 57%.
Wither - Lauren DeStefano

I'm struggling with the story so far. It's dystopian YA where, after scientist manged to create perfect genetically engineered embryos, the offspring of these people have a shorter lifespan. Women live to be 20, and men 25. This is supposedly due to a virus that sets in, but it sounds much more like something in their genetics. 

 

First issue: It seems like all humans that aren't the first generation (the engineered embryos) are descendants from this first generation. Meaning no one had children the natural way, so to say. Which, of course, is illogical. Because this society originates from the one we live in today, and there are several groups that would never agree to make this change so easily. Like some religious groups wouldn't shift to this way of procreation. 

 

Now, the world we're in this book is set in the future, after a third world war. 

All we were taught of geography was that the world had once been made up of seven continents and several countries, but a third world war demolished all but North America, the continent with the most advanced technology. The damage was so catastrophic that all that remains of the rest of the world is ocean and uninhabitable islands so tiny that they can’t even be seen from space.

 

***

 

I educate myself on the polar ice caps, vaporized long ago by warfare, and an explorer named Christopher Columbus who proved the earth was round.

Apart from getting basic history wrong - Columbus did not prove the earth was round, this was known long before his time - there are several things about this that are wrong. First of all though I need to mention that the heroine grew up in Manhattan and is now living in Florida. The thing is, say there was a third world war. Enemies of the U.S. would most likely hit cities like New York, D.C., and other bigger cities first. I seriously doubt New York would be habitable if there'd been a third world war. 

 

Anyway, let's say New York survived and went about unscathed. Then if the ice caps had melted, it would be underwater. The same would go for parts of Florida. It's something a quick google search would tell you. War or climate catastrophe, Manhattan wouldn't be a place for the living. I could've let it slip, but the heroine is constantly going on about her life from Manhattan, and it bothers me each time she does.

 

Then we have the concept that young women are kidnapped and sold into polygamys marriages simply to have the man's offspring. It's apparently incredibly important to have offspring in this world where everyone will die by the time they are 20/25 (depending on their gender). This theme isn't explored enough. Let's face it, if you put a group of people from this age group on a remote island without a future, procreation wouldn't be on their minds. Neither would it be as important to these people as this book makes it sound. The parents won't be the ones to raise the child, seeing how they will likely be dead before the child is over ten years old. 

 

So yes, I'm struggling with this. On one side, the general story is overall okay, but the endless errors in basic facts and the world-building are making truly difficult to enjoy it. 

 

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review 2016-01-07 20:23
Amy Miles: Wither
Wither (The Withered Series) (Volume 1) - Amy Miles

In the start of a new series, Amy Miles takes the reader to America two weeks after the world has gone to hell:

Avery has been sitting by her mother's hospital bed knowing that she is not going to wake up but she has no where else to go. The streets are crawling with the Withered ones and though they do not seem to be the brain eating zombies of the TV shows and books Avery still does not trust them and their eerie shuffling around. Avery has learned that right now the Withered are not to be feared but the gangs who now own the streets and she knows that it is only a matter or time before the hospital is taken as well. She has heard some stranger rumours about what the humans left alive are looking for, blood. Blood of those who are still alive they believe that blood will save them, and Avery is about to see first hand the lengths they will go to get it. Don't fear the Withered, Fear the Humans.

I was first attracted to this book due to the cover as it portrayed this book as a darker read and while that may be true on some instances I never really felt the suspense or thrills that I think this book should have contained. Yes there are some action scenes but they were not overly descriptive and due to the fact that Avery is a calm and collective character (most of the time) we never get a sense of urgency from her. I found the world building really lacking in this book. I'm not really sure how the Withered ones came about, i think it was first a disease and then people tried to fix it but that mutated people into zombies, but not zombies. I'm really not sure how far the mutation went or if that is just rumour, like the humans need to find fresh blood. So i guess you could say I was a bit confused.

I think my favourite part of the book is that Miles decided to focus more on the degradation of humans and what we would do to each other in this situation other than the withered ones aka zombies. I think Humans as a whole can be way more scarier than any zombie can be. I mean a zombie people feel they can just kill, they are already, technically dead, but a human can be more cold calculated and we see glimpse of this cold calculation throughout the book. Personally I wish there was more.

 
Avery at times is a hard character to like but yet you like her all the same. She is mistrustful of everyone even people who have proved themselves to her time and time again. She just has learned to question everything and everyone around her but I think that this stems from before the world went to hell and not after. Avery's past is still a bit of a mystery as you only get bits and pieces of it throughout the book but it is enough to know she was not happy then. On the flip side of this is that Avery is not whiny character and is able to take care of herself. She may not make the best choices at times but she makes her own based upon the information she has and she is smart as she seems to take everything into perspective that is happening around her.
 
I really have to applaud Miles for not taking the easy way out and having a happy ending, which lets be honest really shouldn't occur in this type of novel. Miles really does show some major aspects of how we change when faced with survival and some people are just better at it than others when being civilized is really no longer an option.
 
Even though this was a short read, I still think that Miles could have done a better job with the world building. There is a bit of a lull in the middle of the book, which I don't think was needed as we didn't really receive an additional information about the characters or the world that Miles has built. There is no question that Miles was able to entertain me and keep it that way to the end with her characters and her desire to keep the book  real as to what happens to us as humans when the world goes to shit. I look forward to see where Miles decides to take this series (at least I hope there are more books in the works).

Enjoy!!!
If You Like This,
Check These Out Too: 
http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2011/01/sophie-littlefield-aftertime.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2010/12/jl-bourne-day-by-day-armageddon.html  http://j9books.blogspot.ca/2013/01/annie-walls-taking-on-dead.html
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review 2015-10-02 00:00
Wither
Wither - Amy Miles I was first attracted to this book because of the cover. After seeing the blurb, I knew I wanted to read it. It has an original spin on the zompoc genre. I believe Wither has the basis for a great story, but it didn't make it there for me. I was unable to understand the cause and effect of situations, behaviors, attitudes, etc. The things the characters did just didn't make any sense to me. I think this is one of those books that will produce very varied opinions so you may want to check it out for yourself.

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***
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review 2015-09-22 03:19
Wither
Wither (The Withered Series) (Volume 1) - Amy Miles
 

A sickness is spreading, turning everyday people into mindless zombies. Those who aren’t ill are either committing unspeakable evil acts or are trying their best to simply stay alive in sudden anarchy. Avery has found herself in the midst of a catastrophic epidemic and worst of all, she is all alone. Now she must find inner strength and find a way to survive in a nightmare situation.

I have to say that it has been a while since a book has completely captured my attention. From the very first paragraph of this book I was hooked by its fast-paced action and dark plot. This book contains everything an apocalyptic book should; zombies, dark story line, violence, action, and a touch of romance. That doesn’t even include the wonderful writing style, well-developed characters, and amazing story line. That being said, this book may not be for younger readers and parents should probably read it before hand to see if they find it appropriate.

Firstly, I found the story to be utterly captivating. I especially like that the book began in the early stages of the apocalypse. I felt like this made it more interesting. The cause of the outbreak as well as how it developed was creative and stimulating. From the beginning this book is full of action; the pacing of this book was sublime. It is always a bummer when the action fizzles out and boredom in sues ensues; however, with this novel that is not an issue. Also, I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen next or how the story was going to end, and what an ending it was!

As far as characters go, I have to say that at first I wasn’t crazy in love with Avery. She seemed really ungrateful to those who had risked their lives to save her. However, as the story developed so did Avery and with that came an understanding of why she acted that way. I always appreciate a character that grows as the story progresses. She turns out to be quite the survivor despite my initial impression of her. I liked the other characters as well. Even though there were characters the ones I didn’t like very much, I still appreciated their roles in the story and the dynamics they added to the plot.

Also, I would like to mention that I love the cover art on this book. I thought it was breathtaking and an excellent representation of the story within.

All and all, I thought this book was epic and worthy of all five stars.

 

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