Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Review: The Survivors by Amanda Havard

Title: The Survivors
Author: Amanda Harvard
Paperback: 283 Pages
Publisher: Chafie Press
Date Published: March 29, 2011
Author Info: Website | Twitter
Buy it: Amazon
Add it: Goodreads
In 1692, when witch trials gripped the community of Salem, Massachusetts, 26 children were accused as witches, exiled, and left for dead. Fourteen of them survived. "The Survivors" is the first installment of the tantalizing tales of the 14 ill-fated survivors and their descendants, who have been content in hiding for more than three centuries.

While I don’t generally read historical books, that isn’t to say that I am not a complete history nerd. I am. While the Civil War bored me to tears, it was the little tiny bizarre events in history that intrigued me to pieces. Roanoke was one, the Salem Witch trials were another.

Past the historical prologue, we launch into the modern world with a very non-modern girl. So I’m reading Sadie and her very formal self and then she mentions she is 21. Shut the front door. To say that I love YA books with older protagonists would be to underestimate the feeling. Don’t get me wrong, I love feeling 17 again, but there are certain binds and obligations that come with being under 18. Sometimes it’s nice to break free of those and live like, well, an adult. And Sadie does.

Of course this being said my next point shouldn’t come as surprise, but it didn’t read like a typical YA novel. It wasn’t all ‘OMG, Football Hottie doesn’t think I’m cute’, but more like ‘is it right for an immortal to be immortal?’ Holy philosophy! Mad props to this book for bringing up the other side of immortality and presenting some pretty serious thoughts on it. While I wouldn’t necessarily agree with Sadie’s experiments, I have to say I admired her for doing them.

And then there was the love triangle. Or more like the love scalene triangle (hooray for Google for being able to bring that up when my memory failed). I doubt I’ve brought this up before, but if I haven’t, let me state: I HATE LOVE TRIANGLES TO THE DEPTHS OF TARTARUS. But, apparently, love scalene triangles aren’t so bad for me. It was novel because Cole was never really an option and it’s stated clearly. He’s cute, sweet, gentlemanly, and it’s never going to happen -- he was the short side of the triangle. I felt like this was MORE realistic than the two divinely perfect and available guys vying for the girl’s attention. Then there’s Everett -- the long side of the triangle. While he’s not always perfect, he unexpectedly sexy several times. I appreciate that.

And since we are on character, let me say a few things about Sadie. At first she was a bit difficult to get into as a character. Her stiff formality (no doubt the result of her upbringing) is close to the reason I have a hard time with historicals. However, it’s her independence and strong spirit that won my little girl heart. And I have to say that I adore a good girl hissy fit at a guy, who usually deserves it. The more feet-stamping and walking off with chin high, the better standing ovation I give her. I won’t say why, but Sadie’s was aces.

As far as the world and mythology goes, I think it’s quite unique. I loved the twist on history and with the lack of documentation comes a whole different story. And I loved Sadie’s research of the paranormal, not only did it kinda break the 4th wall, it was like genealogical research and seeing the little bits and pieces that make us. Very cool.

I can’t wait for the sequel to see where this goes. Oh, wait. *picks the advance reader copy* Stay tuned, kids.

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