The story of Paris and Helen of Troy set in a dystopian future? Yes, sign me up, please. Except, you really probably didn’t consider how annoying a classic idea could be when translated too directly into a futuristic setting. There are some good ideas here, but it was ultimately a fail. I haven’t been this irritated by a book in some time. While I really respect indie authors, I still think they need a trusted editor, and this book desperately needs one. It reads like a first draft, as far as plot and character development go. I gave it two stars.
Rather like a dystopian soap opera, Omni was overly dramatic and failed to develop characters beyond a villain or hero archetype. And there is insta love, the dreaded pet peeve that I have a hard time forgiving in a book over two hundred pages. Pierce is the protagonist, and his mouth just keeps writing checks his tail can’t cash. While some readers may see this as chivalry, in truth, it was a constant beatdown. Instead of coming across as heroic, he came across as idiotic. Give him mad fighting skills or at least brains enough to avoid an every-other-chapter butt whooping. His leading lady is Harmony, a perpetual damsal in distress. I understand how a classic story like this could translate badly for female characters, but an updated setting requires an updated leading lady, and for most modern YA readers, that means a girl who eventually learns to take care of herself. Every other person on Earth would have come up with some way to protect themselves from the threat she faced: Kung Fu training, pepper spray, blackmail, a strategically placed knee – something! Harmony just relied on every other character in the book to save her over and over. The pace, too, was problematic. Encounter after encounter was engineered to create drama between the protagonist and the antagonist. These encounters rarely moved the story forward and they didn’t serve to develop characters. Where is an editor when you need one? Because even the greats need one, so you do too! The single most interesting subplot didn’t surface until almost the end of the story, and I just couldn’t help but think the whole thing would have been better if that subplot had been used as Pierce’s beginning point. Overall, this just didn’t live up to my expectations, and I think it will fall flat for most discerning readers.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.