Publisher: Black Spot Books
Author: Stacey Rourke
Release: February 12th 2019
Warnings: Graphic deaths, child soldiers
I received a copy of Apocalypse Five through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Apocalypse Five is the first novel in the Archive of the Fives series by Stacey Rourke. If I had to define the novel for you in just a few sentences, I would say that it’s Hunger Games in a science fiction setting, only with a couple major twists thrown into the mix.
Apocalypse Five is a combination of so many things, that I honestly don’t envy whoever had to make the decision on what category to put it into. It’s a little bit science fiction, young adult, survival, post-apocalyptic, and so much more. It also touches on other elements, some coming of age, a little bit of romance, that sort of thing.
Warnings: My comparison to Hunger Games is accurate in one sense, at least. There are children (okay, teenagers) in this series. And adults too, of course. These people are used as soldiers for what appears to be entertainment. Their deaths are not always easy or quick, but they’re not overly detailed at least.
Apocalypse Five was a fast-paced novel full of so many twists and turns. With every new twist I thought I had a handle on the situation, that I fully understood what was happening it this world. Only for another twist to come along and further shake my perception of the world. It left me feeling like I had to constantly stay on my toes as I read – waiting for the next big reveal.
I enjoyed reading this novel. I liked how quick the pace was, and while there was a lot of violence in it, it never really felt overly gory or graphic. That’s a hard line to walk on, so I really appreciate it and feel like it deserves to be pointed out.
I’ll admit that it took me a couple of chapters to really get into this book. The first chapter really threw me through a loop. It was great that it started right out in the action, but I had no idea what was happening or who these people were. Once I got farther along I was able to truly understand what I had read, but it did take me a minute.
That being said, once I got past that point it didn’t take long for me to start becoming attached to the characters. And trust me, I tried to say ambivalent about them too – after that introduction (and my comparison to the Hunger Games) I was afraid to become too attached to anybody. So the fact that I did despite all of that says something, I think.
I’m not sure how I feel about the final twist in this book. It’s interesting, and I do look forward to seeing that get developed further. At the same time it leaves me with more questions than answers. It’s not a cliffhanger, not quite. But it did change the book from feeling complete to making it very clear that there’s a lot more going on that we initially thought. I’ll have to wait and see what is shown in the second novel before I comment on it too much though.
I like that I wasn’t able to predict what was going to happen next. It’s refreshing to not have any clue what is going to happen, even if it is also a little bit stressful – I was constantly concerned about the fate of the five main characters.
I really enjoyed reading Apocalypse Five, and am looking forward to the sequel. The only shame is that I’ll have to wait. I guess that’s the downside to reading a novel the second it comes out (okay, I read it slightly before it came out, but you know what I mean).