Thursday, 6 September 2012
Mia Price is a lightning addict. She's survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.
Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.
Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn't who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.
I was immediately gripped by the book, right from the very first page - I mean, with an opening sentence like, "When you've been struck by lightening as many times as I have, you start to expect the worst pretty much all the time," how could it not be immediately gripping?! I was hooked, and it held me there, all the way through.
The beginning was also great because it didn't hang around at all. There was no slow, in-depth explanation of what had happened, and how the world was now; we were just thrown straight into the thick of things, and the back-story was given to us, as we experienced the world, through Mia's story, and I just loved that.
The world-building in this novel was immense. It's described as a dystopian novel, but I don't think it really is, if I'm honest. The world in this book is much more of a post-apocalyptic one, in a way, and this suits it really well. The way that Jennifer describes the ruined city of Los Angeles, is just so potent, that I really did feel as though I was there, beside Mia, living in this destroyed world, with her. It was an exhilarating, and extremely frightening experience, but I couldn't get enough of it.
I also loved the element of fantasy that was injected into the book, with Mia and her 'ability' and power.
There are also two groups of people who share this 'power'; the Followers, headed by the false Prophet, who call the power 'the light', and the Seekers, the Prophet's enemy, who call their power 'the spark'. Both groups believe that Mia has the power that could either save, or help destroy the world, and each plan to use her in their own way.
This all gave the book its own unique twist, and it kept me on the edge of my seat, the whole way through.
I also loved the ending. I absolutely did not see what happened coming (not entirely, anyway), and I couldn't have hoped for a better conclusion. My only complaint is that there isn't any more to read! However, I have found out that Struck is supposed to be the first book in a series, so hopefully there will be more to read in the future!
There was a whole host of really awesome characters in this book, but obviously the best of them has to be our protagonist, Mia. I believe she's 17 at the beginning, but she absolutely doesn't seem this young. She was very mature in the way she thought about, and handled situations, which was fortunate really, as her mother had become mentally unstable (following a near-death experience, during the Earthquake, which occurs before the beginning of the book), and Mia is left not only looking after herself and her mother, but also her younger brother, Parker.
Despite the extreme difficulty of the situation, she handled it really well - I absolutely could not have done as well as she did.
I also loved Jeremy, the mysterious 'nightmare boy', who watches Mia, and warns her away from both the Followers and the Seekers, yet harbours secrets of his own. I wasn't able to guess these secrets, either - they were nearly entirely unpredictable, and I loved that just when I thought I understood him, he revealed something that totally shocked me. I just couldn't help but fall totally in love with his character.
Jay Asher was quoted, describing Struck as 'cinematic', and I absolutely know what he means. I adored this. It was thrilling and totally unputdownable, and I really didn't want it to come to an end.
I definitely recommend this to any fan of YA fiction, but especially fans of post-apocalyptic fiction, science-fiction and fantasy. If you don't pick it up, you're missing out!
Posted by Dani C at 00:00