Sunday, June 23, 2013

Review: Perception by Lee Strauss

Title: Perception (Perception #1)
Author: Lee Strauss
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Mystery
Source: All Night Reads via NetGalley

Eternal Life is To Die For.
Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along-side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans.

Her brother Liam is missing.

Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically.

Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.

PERCEPTION is a (SF/mystery/romance) Young Adult novel that takes place in the not-too-distant future in a world changed by climate extremes, natural disasters and impending wars, and where scientific breakthroughs cause class divisions—both financially and philosophically. It explores the clash between faith and science and how differences can separate us as enemies or ally us together. And in some cases, even in the midst of betrayal and personal crisis, there’s room to fall in love.
Review by Nara

Perception certainly had an interesting (but somewhat cliched) premise that I think was well supported by the world building and plotline. This made for a reasonably enjoyable read, but I think there were a few fundamental flaws which probably reduced my overall enjoyment.

In general, the writing seemed a bit clumsy- the sentences weren't grammatically incorrect, and there weren't any horrible spelling errors/typos and such (that I noticed), but there was just something about it that seemed a bit unpolished. Another point I want to make is that the main character Zoe had a very strong voice, but when, three quarters of the way through the novel, there is a switch to Noah's point of view, honestly, this wasn't really a good move. Their voices were much too similar- so much so that they basically sounded like the same person. When I read a multiple point of view book, I like to see a bit of diversity in voice. Unfortunately  Strauss couldn't quite achieve this.

The characters and romance were pretty unremarkable. The romance, especially, really wasn't very interesting at all, especially with the classically annoying instalove. One aspect that I liked though, was how the main character went through some growth for the better. Initially, she was pretty damn dislikable. Case in point:
He stepped politely out of the way, but the expression on his face was stoic. Even though he was clearly from the outside and the help, I still expected some small sign that what he saw when he viewed me was pleasing. A twinkle in the eye, a slight upturning of the lips. These were the responses I got from all the boys. The straight ones, anyway.
That's exactly the type of character I want to root for....Later though, after getting some exposure to how things are on the "outside", Zoe seems to develop as a character, to the point that she views GAPs as wrong.

The whole book sort of revolves around this idea that it's wrong to alter people's DNA, i.e. that it's wrong to "play God". I actually personally don't really know what to think about messing with people's genes. I mean, I'm not against people being able to live longer and without disease and such. It's a pretty tough issue, and I look forward to seeing how Strauss will be tacking it in sequels.

Liked it

Overall: 7/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 4/5