on July 17, 2018 :
"Exile" is an interesting tale about an underground society survivalist, Ro, trying
to make it in an egomaniac meritocracy. Having lived underground and known nothing
else her whole life, she is now being framed for a crime, after not acceding to
the demands of a greedy bully, and banished to death on the uninhabitable surface.
Surprisingly she finds the surface not as dead as made believe and soon has to
learn how to live amongst another type of people with somewhat different rules and beliefs.
While not a completely original theme anymore, I still find myself liking these
kind of underground survival/resurfacing tales. If you have some love for the
theme you should easily find yourself liking this story.
Written in 1st person view, it starts out with the viewpoint of Ro, but soon
starts switching between the POVs of Ro and the surface boy, Gray.
This is a definite no-no for me, and detracted from the quality and depth of the story,
as a 1st p. POV is a promise to stay with a character 'for life' (bodysnatching
excluded), and a (close-up) 3rd person POV would have been the better choice here.
Having to rely on your own characters evaluations, thoughts and (mis)information,
is the core of a great 1st person story for me, that makes it so life-like,
suspenseful and intriguing, and incidentially hard to write; the skill and
artistry of a really great author. Short-changing that experience by switching
viewpoints generally leaves me feeling cheated and with a bad taste.
Considering Gray's perspective felt more like filler to me, the story's plot
was still interesting and captivating enough, focused more on the romance than
the adventure in the later story, but lacked in suspense and depth it could
have possibly achieved.
I am yet undecided about continuing the series, the ending felt a bit bland and
(reviewed 12 months after purchase)