Plot: Arena and Gabe are twins, orphaned at a young age but fostered by a loving family. However, the world is at war with itself and the nation is not safe. Those in charge are indiscriminately killing their own people and the violence is intensifying.
Arena discovers she and her brother are destined for so much more than a normal teenage life. They have been chosen by God for one job and one alone; to free the people from this suffering. Arena takes up this mantle with pride, even if it means killing everyone standing in her path to righteousness.
Quote: `I stroll the bleak halls back to my locker and suddenly think about our journey with Henry and Father Joseph. I try to stay grounded and keep a rational mind about the whole thing, but there’s a part of me that can’t help but wonder if there really is any truth to it all.`
Opinion: It’s been a while since I have written a bad review, but this was one of the worst books I’ve read for some time.
The plot could work – prophesised twins destined to do God’s work and cleanse the world of evil. But it didn’t. It lacked in tension and failed to keep me gripped. Anything about religion came in chunks – one chapter would all be about killing and murder, the next all about God. There was no blend and that distanced me from the book.
The characters were weak. Arena was too powerful, especially compared to her brother. She handled everything. She barely got hurt. She was a killer, through and through. For someone doing God’s work, she never thought about compassion or love when murdering soldiers and meant I neither liked nor cared about her. Trained men followed her without question and she had all the ideas. It was unrealistic and made her annoying rather than creating empathy.
The relationships developed too quickly. They started a new school. Both twins fell in love. Then had their hearts broken. Arena got over the loss of her foster mother far quicker than a boy she had known for about a week. This weakened their development as characters.
Rape was used far too casually. At least three main characters are raped and another threatened with it. And again, they spring back from it like nothing happened. The same with murder. A few characters are spared and a big deal is made out of showing mercy. Those same rules don’t apply by the time the next killing comes around.
Then the actual writing. It was weak and distracting. Visions were used to show events that should be unknown – and not in a realistic way. Descriptions were not engaging and a character “slowly jumping” annoyed me no end – it’s a contradiction and doesn’t work as an action. The time-frame was not made apparent and the repetition of Arena going to find solace alone happened too often for the reader to care.
All in all, a massive let down.