Release Date - October 8, 2013
Publisher Website - HarperTeen
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating - 2.5/5
**obtained for review from publisher**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A teenage girl is transformed into a reluctant superhero and must balance her old life with the dark secret of who she has become.A superhero inspired story that left me both hot and cold. A slower paced novel whose pay off came just a little too late to fully win me over. A novel that felt rather predictable, and left me feeling unconnected to the story.
Prima ballerina Anthem Fleet is closely guarded by her parents in their penthouse apartment. But when she meets the handsome Gavin at a party on the wrong side of town, she is immediately drawn into his dangerous world. Then, in a tragic accident, Anthem falls to her death. She awakes in an underground lab, with a bionic heart ticking in her chest. As she navigates her new life, she uncovers the sinister truth behind those she trusted the most, and the chilling secret of her family lineage…and her duty to uphold it.
The Dark Knight meets Cinder in this gripping and cinematic story of heartbreak and revenge. From Alloy Entertainment, this inventive new superhero story is sure to captivate any reader.
The setting is quite similar to Batman's Gotham City. Crime rules the streets, and social and economic standings dictate everything. Cops are being paid off, and things are crumbling. There were times where I wanted Amelia to allow the writing to wander a bit and go outside these walls. It felt like she was sticking too closely to something her story didn't quite fit into.
Anthem is privileged, and sheltered. Her brief flirtation with the 'wild side' has drastic consequences. Her life changing journey was taken slowly. Her reactions to things were sometimes exactly what I wanted, and other times frustrating. She falls for Gavin rather quickly. She feels so strongly that you can't believe how quick the time line actually is. It was rather jarring when I realized how little time had passed. The stakes had to be high, but I felt the time required for the emotional payoff just hadn't been invested. So much of the story happens TO Anthem rather than BECAUSE of her. I wanted to see her react to things more, instead of being controlled by the plot. It may have helped with the emotional connecting this type of story would benefit from.
The parts where Anthem is discovering her new abilities, and when she takes pleasure in flexing her power are well done. I could feel the giddy rush of her dancing for the first time, the rush of adrenaline as she soared through the air. Superhero stories almost require the hero to be made human and it's these brief moments that do that. They remind us that Anthem is just a teenage girl who adores ballet, and fell in love. It helped put her actions in perspective.
The twists and turns the story takes, especially in the second half, saved the story for me. I do hope this is a series because there is a potential there now that the groundwork has be done. I fear, however, that many won't make it to the stronger second half. The pacing in the beginning is slow, and most of the character development happens later.
The potential for the rest of the books if this is a series is evident by the ending. We leave Anthem in a place where she can start to develop, and the storyline can progress. You can tell the author has a love for superhero stories, and she wanted to do an homage to them. It resonates, but I wish she had taken her own approach, instead of being so heavily influenced. It may have moved the plot to a place where the novel made a stronger impression on the reader immediately, therefore drawing you in quicker.
A superhero beginnings story that is filled with lies, betrayal, and has some true potential. I predict that others may enjoy this one more than I did, as I had a hard time connecting with the characters and the world.