By Emma Clayton
Genre: YA Dystopian
#1 in the Roar Series
"Mika lives in future London, behind the Wall, safe from the Animal Plague beyond. Or so he's been told. But ever since Ellie vanished a all year ago, he's suspected his world may be built on secrets-and lies. When a mysterious organization starts recruiting mutant kids to compete in violent virtual reality games, Mika takes the chance to search for his twin sister-and the truth."
I want you to be aware, before you read this book, or think about reading this book, that it's part of a series. I did not know that when I was reading it, so, when I got to the ending, I was very confused, agitated, and frustrated that the author left so many unanswered questions. This was an easy mistake to make, because there was nothing on the book to indicate that it was part of a series. I hate when publishers do this!
So, all the above has a huge impact on how I viewed and will review this novel.
If I would have known there was a sequel, the abrupt ending probably wouldn't have bothered me. However, one aspect of it would have bothered me regardless. One of the main characters disappeared at the end of the book, like the author forgot about her. One minute she was there, the next, she was gone and not mentioned again. At the end of novel, even one in a series, everyone should be accounted for, whether they're in prison, dead, missing, etc. This was not the case here.
I did enjoy parts of this novel, though. The suspense of knowing 'the secret' (even though I had a good guess) kept me turning the pages throughout the book to see what would happen next. Also, it had some pretty unique ideas, like the animal plague, and what the mutants could do (I won't give it away). I loved the latter. I also enjoyed how the author kept the parents in the novel. They're not usually in YA fantasy/dystopian novels much (for obvious reasons) but they kept cropping up here, and it was good to see their love and relationship fluctuate like any normal teenager's.
Ellie was my favorite character by far; I loved her spunk and spark. I was disappointed the reader didn't get inside her head more, especially since she was the first person we meet.
Due to all these factors, I give The Roar a 2.75 out of 5 and recommend it for 12 year olds and up. I'm still debating whether or not to read the sequel or not.
What I learned: Everything the government tells you is a lie! (Ha. ha. Joking...mostly.)
*Readers who enjoyed The Hunger Games, Ender's Game, or the Uglies, Pretties, Specials series might like this novel.
**What about you? What do you think about reading a book, and then finding out it's a series? Do you think they should be clearly marked? Have you read The Roar? Think you might or might not now? Let me know!