- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 524 KB
- Print Length: 608 pages
- Publisher: Simon Pulse; Original edition (22 Jun. 2002)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003YCPBNW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #395,622 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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|Print List Price:||£7.76|
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Fearless Kindle Edition
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The premise of the series revolves around a teenager named Gaia and her foray into her new life living in New York City. The stories follow her adjustment to her new surroundings and the people in her life, including a couple romantic interests and some new enemies, ranging from scorned high school drama queens to knife-wielding murderers. As the title implies, Gaia is completely devoid of the fear emotion, giving her the will and audacity to overcome almost anything.
The novella-sized length of these individual stories gives the series a very episodic feel. Combine this with the overarching themes of social alienation and larger-than-life situations forced upon teenagers, and you have a series with a very 90s television show vibe, akin to something like Dark Angel. While I'm sure this isn't for everyone it made reading them almost nostalgic to me, something I always enjoy.
The actual enjoyment one will receive from reading this collection may vary depending on the quality of the individual stories and the personal opinion of the reader. While I fully admit to enjoying all three stories, the plot never managed to truly captivate me until the climax of the second story "Sam." Ironic really since I felt that one had the weakest story of all three; having Gaia crave sexual relations before she dies with a boy she barely knows isn't exactly a formula for literary success in my books. There's moments of excitement and danger as well as typical high school angst we've come to expect from the eccentric enigmas called teenagers, yet don't be surprised if you aren't immediately pulled into the series at the beginning. Now with that said, the third story "Run" is absolutely spectacular. If every story could maintain the same caliber of excitement as that one then this would have easily been a five star product.
The concept of the Gaia character had me intrigued the moment I read the book's synopsis. Having a teenage girl completely devoid of fear yet socially alienated by her no-nonsense headstrong bravado is an interesting foundation for a character, and for the most part the premise is done justice here. Gaia's tomboyish antics and nonchalance towards the social standards of high school and society at large created a very stark juxtaposition between the story's stereotypical high school girls and herself, one which never failed to elicit a grin from me. Making the story's first and third person narration segments feel like an interesting character study on Gaia's various idiosyncrasies that contrast with the usual accepted norm. However, it is worth mentioning that Gaia's stubborn narrow-mindedness towards other people can sometimes make her grind on one's nerves, particularly when a conflict with another person is the result of her own rudeness.
Unfortunately the series also suffers from a cliché that certainly limits the emotional gravitas the author was going for. This problematic cliché comes in the form of a very contrived romance coupled with one of the most pretentious plot-devices one can use: a love triangle. They're almost always completely two-dimensional in their execution and their inevitable outcome can be seen for miles away. Usually this kind of writing tries to glorify two bland characters rather than place more emphasis on a more fully-developed one, however in the case of Fearless the second option in the triangle is a much more interesting character that would make so much more sense to see as the series' romantic mainstay. I don't dislike the character Sam per say, however I find the actual attraction between Gaia and him to be completely devoid of any real emotional investment and instead relies on blind hormones and sexual attraction. Perhaps the argument could be made that it's a simulation of blind teenage puppy love. This is made only worse since Ed; Gaia's first friend she makes in New York, is a far more interesting character. Having a character that accepts Gaia's several peculiarities and possesses severe physical handicaps would have made for a memorable character duo. A strong female-character protecting a physically limited male would have been a great divergence from the typical damsel-in-distress gimmick.
Even with my grievances I still recommend trying Fearless. I didn't particularly enjoy the book's contrived relationship between Sam and Gaia, yet I found the characters fun and often relatable to a degree. However I'm very skeptical of whether or not this series can maintain my interest for over twenty books, albeit very small ones. Hopefully book four will continue book three's upward climb of excellence.
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