Top critical review
starts out good - but then becomes rather far-fetched and daft. Also a bit too preachy and wishy-washy
on 3 February 2015
2 to 2.5 * - was intriguing but then deteriorated into a far-fetched silly romance. Won't continue with the series
The concept behind the story and the action is really good. Unfortunately, The Christian aspects of the book weren't well thought out - it was all a bit naff - also the quick way the UK government capitulates to the Utopian "government", the UN's quick decision to recognise Utopia (which was weird as there wasn't a vote - and I'm sure the UK has a veto), plus the super fast way the characters fall in love ruined it.
The author's constant mention of "Upper Class" was also rather vulgar and in this age of money-buying anything - it can also buy a toffy accent. Just send the kids to a posh school. No "upper class" to it - well spoken people aren't necessarily "upper class" - it was rather naff
Sherdan - tall, dark and handsome professor of science, he's (apparently) super brainy and ruthless. The author isn't shy about demonstrating this with torture, rape and other forms of abuse mentioned. It actually worked really well as we see him as a ruthless horrible villain who might even consider rape to get his way. In no way does the author try to convey Sherdan as a hero. The only hero is God - and I think the author did really well with that.
Anya - sweet, little blonde pretty artist. The Warmth and Sweetness to Sherdan's Cold and Ruthless blah blah blah. I think this ruined it for me - I liked that Anya was a fighter and didn't give up easily- she had an inner strength that wasn't all flashy and showy and genuinely was caring. But the whole "I'm a simple-minded artists and you're a super clever scientist" bit was annoying. As well as him falling in love with her because she's so sweet and kind - it was a bit too Mills & Boon. I think it would have worked better if she was a doctor herself, but a caring doctor with brains and warmth.
I don't think the author listed anyone's ages or perhaps I missed them but it would have helped.
The Plot: decent plot- would have got 5* but was rather far-fetched. I can imagine Sherdan somehow managing to turn Utopia into a independent region but a whole new country didn't make sense. Just look how hard Ireland and Scotland fought for independence. I appreciate Utopia had all those special powers - but that won't do much against sanctions, and chemical warfare. Furthermore, Utopia has no government. How can Sherdan be sure there won't be coup against him. And why wouldn't someone try to run away and sell their secrets for loads of money? The army was all over the place to ensure their safety. It just seemed a bit too pat.
There's loads more plot holes and other aspects that didn't make sense but I don't want to give anything away.
The Romance: this started out really well. Sherdan was a complete brute - the cold scientist dictator that the author alleged. He was portrayed as ruthless and his actions demonstrated that. However, eventually he change into a puppy who falls in love with Anya - but for what reason I have no idea. I can appreciate Anya falling for Sherdan - he's powerful, she's locked up in his prison and it's a psychological thing. But it didn't make sense why this cold-hearted, genius would fall for Anya in the space of 6 weeks. It can't be just because she's a pretty face as he seems to have no problem in that department. And it seems daft if it's all because SHE WAS THE FIRST GIRL TO SAY NO. And if it's due to her SWEET & WHOLSOME and LOVING personality - then PUH-LEEZE!!! Vomit.
Anyway, the story is really good initially but the ending was daft and I lost interest.