by Amy A. Bartol
What happens when you mash-up Hunger Games, Divergent, Twilight, and Cinder?
I wanted to like this book. Despite a few days of pondering and trying to come up with a more positive review, for me the negatives outweigh the good in this book. The momentum and originality that made the Secondborn interesting is lost in Traitor Born. In addition, the writing felt rushed and less polished. Overall, I would rate this book as average and derivative.
I rolled my eyes countless times at the derivative plotting and scenes. To name a few: the rose pin, conspicuous consumerism of the upper class, pathetically abused lower class, crowds of adoring fans, and costumes (Hunger Games), the brave jump from a height and various strangely-named factions (Divergent), the man with metal teeth and cyborg-thingies (Cinder), the cluelessly beautiful Mary Sue that everyone lusts after (Twilight).
Drop the pretense at science fiction and Traitor Born devolves into a romance where four men are lusting after our heroine, who seems to be lusting back at three of them. True, she’s smart enough not to be attracted to the sadist wants to torture and rape her, but he’s still in there with the rest of the panting pack. She seems to be attracted to whoever is in the room at the time. Another person even commits suicide for her benefit.
Roselle is an incredible fighter who has to be rescued by her boyfriends, by her mechabot with its all-powerful vacuum arm, well, the book has already faded in my memory and I can’t even tell you how many times she was rescued… When she was strong, the action was often ludicrously impossible to believe, almost as bad as the foot-to-the-back-of-the-head-spin-flip-thingy nonsensical move in Secondborn.
Overall the derivative aspects left me frustrated with Secondborn and Traitor Born; I won’t continue with this series. I don’t know if I’ll try any other of Amy Bartol’s books. I might. Hope springs eternal!
I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the publisher through NetGalley. My opinions are my own.
The Wall Street Journal bestselling sequel to Secondborn.
In the Fates Republic…
Firstborns reign supreme.
Secondborns kneel in servitude.
Thirdborns face death.
And Census shadows them all.
Secondborn Roselle St. Sismode was pressed into military service to battle the rebel uprising threatening the society that enslaves her. Now, powerful factions conspire to subvert the lines of succession, positioning Roselle to replace her mother as leader of the Republic’s armed forces. But the woman who bore her would sooner see Roselle dead than let her usurp her firstborn brother’s command.
The deadly war of intrigue between her new masters and her ruthless family is but one conflict challenging Roselle. A soldier for the rebellion has drawn her into a rogue army’s plot to overthrow the Republic and shatter its brutal caste system. Targeted by assassins and torn between allies, Roselle will have her loyalty, love, and honor tested in the greatest battle of—and for—her life.