Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Reader's Review: "The Lie" by Mary E. Twomey

Synopsis from Amazon
With the predator defeated and Prince Killian safe at home, Blue settles into the new life she’s made for herself with the royal family of Europe. A Wayward in a world of Vemreaux, Blue struggles to adapt before her deadly temper takes her over. Baird is intent on searching out and destroying more unearthed tyranny, with or without his sister. When a visit from the elusive Everest Sinclair brings more treachery than they could have predicted, Blue knows she must protect both her Vemreaux family and her Wayward family, no matter the cost. 

My Review:

Confession: I actually finished this a while ago... And it broke my feels so hard I had to process my emotions before writing this review.

The first book was shocking and intense, yet also very intriguing in its completely original premise and the thrilling treatment thereof. The second book just amped up everything introduced in the beginning, all the way to the stratosphere. I had never read a dystopia like it, and I was so keyed up by the end that I hardly knew what to expect for the third book!

In a word, "THE LIE" was PERFECTION. Twomey is an absolute wizard with words. I may have no very clear idea of what the individual characters look or sound like, but MAN, each name comes with a set of emotions that just settles in my gut and won't go away. I know what they feel like, more than anything else.

Blue: brash, daring, patient, subservient, loyal, innocent, loving, caring Blue! Blue who would not hesitate to eviscerate the thing that would threaten those she loves, who does not shrink away from her fate as the sacrificial Light—and yet who utterly dissolves to nothing when the one she loves most tears her down.
Baird: hard, unwavering, unyielding, untrusting, stoic, focused, scheming, strategizing, masterminding Baird! Baird who has raised his sister as The inimitable Light, who has heavily ingrained in her all of the skills, the motivation, the mental capacity, and the soul-crushing perfectionism that she would need to survive until she fulfilled her destiny to "end the tyranny", all the while grooming himself to not care if she dies, not care about the entire population of "tyrants" he has demonized for so long—yet when his carefully-erected wall is breached by someone he cannot control like he controls Blue, yet whom he loves just as much, he crumbles into an absolute mess that nearly brought tears to my eyes.
Sam: protector, defender, loving, playful, tender, and true Sam! Like every fictional Sam ever created, Sam pursues the unloveable, embraces the unreachable, defies things even he doesn't understand in order to restore peace and harmony to the ones around him.

Liam made me giggle. Suzette gave me sighs of relief. Elle gave me joy. Everest made me think. Griffin was undaunted and faithful. Frederick was fearless. Killian inspired respect; Alec, calm. (Fun fact: I guess I never realized—or it wasn't as significant back when I first read it—but guess what Alec is short for? Alexander Hamilton; MIND. BLOWN.) The interactions between the characters were very true and natural, and most of all relatable; even the "down time" between the plot points served to strengthen and expand the character development, rather than just "filling the empty space."

The tension ran high, and the conflict culminated in one devastating twist after another. Lies exposed everywhere; assumptions made and conclusions pre-drawn were proven false time and again until the characters themselves were worn down to the uttermost, and me as the reader was left questioning my sanity as I read. Then, once everything was reduced to shambles, Twomey begins the process of rebuilding, this time with no more secrets, everything in the clear, everyone with a purpose and a plan for how to accomplish what needed to be done.

The Vemreaux Trilogy is a solid masterpiece among dystopian YA. The heroine is neither sloppy nor stony; the events are not contrived nor pointless. Everything happens for a reason, and the very vocabulary of all the descriptions and imagery feel very carefully selected and deliberate to evoke the most emotion out of the reader at all the right moments—not a single sentence was wasted. The violent physical peril was no match for the psychological and mental cataclysm that also served to break the characters even further than the most savage "predator."

I could go on, in an attempt to capture the grand spectacle of this marvelous finish to a truly breathtaking (literally!) series, but let me move on. "THE LIE" earns an absolutely well-deserved *****5 STAR***** rating, as well as an Upstream Writer Certified ABSOLUTELY RECOMMENDED. If you or anyone you know:
A) Enjoys dystopian or "alternate history" genres;
B) Is sick of the recent spate of cardboard teen girls trapped between the love of a young man (or two) and complete devotion to her family and suffering from debilitating rejection by her society which means she's gotta rise up and stick it to the man and it ends up breaking her in ways she "never quite recovers from"; and
C) Is looking for something that ISN'T just a localized social experiment or an isolated pocket of pointless tyranny that has no regard for anything outside of the interests of one country, and a Big Bad Government we are made to hate and is inherently evil Just Because;
D) and also doesn't mind spates of intense violence of a particularly grisly nature....

Then absolutely you and they MUST read this trilogy. It is, in my personal opinion, one of the (extremely rare) greatest things to happen in Young Adult dystopian literature since the Mistborn novels or the Broken Empire trilogy.
Further Reading: (Sci-fi dystopian/intense thriller/alternate history)
 -For None of Woman Born--S. D. Curran
-Domechild--Shiv Ramdas   
-Sky Knight--Sandra Harvey
-Burn Our Houses Down--Kelsey Garmendia
-Ghost Hand--Ripley Patton
-Road Brothers--Mark Lawrence
-Dissolution--Lee S. Hawke 
-Untamed--Madeline Dyer

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