The Dead Room by Stephanie Erickson
A YA Dystopian Novel published by Pickles Press (03/10/2015)
“Civilization had crumbled at its own hands, and the islanders were the only survivors.” (Location 131)
Far few books have accurate book descriptions and the Dead Room is one of them. You get exactly what you read with the summary. This is why I’m not including my own summary of the book and suggest you read Stephanie Erickson’s book summary if you want to know what the book is about.
Apocalypse, Intrigue, Secrets, Inquisitive Main Character, Two Main Characters, Guarding Secrets, Survivors, Refuge, Political Subterfuge, Kept in the Dark, Jealousy, Power Hungry, Twists, Island, Mainland
Right from the start, Erickson pulls the reader into her world. There are a plethora of post-apocalyptic books out there, but she puts her survivors on an island. The island is like the silos in Hugh Howey’s Wool, separate and apart from society in order to preserve humanity for future generations. Just like a silo, an island has limited space, creating tension and the necessity for law and order. The island is run by the elders who are not all men, thank you Erickson. Too many books repeat real life stereotypes and only place men in positions of power, but The Dead Room has several females as authority figures.
Erickson creates a unique world and describes it so that it is vivid in the reader’s mind. She sets up the plot efficiently and with tension between the main characters and what their goals are. “Questions were more Ashly’s department. Mason preferred a go-along-to-get-along attitude.” (Location 793). Ashley’s inquisitive nature immediately butts heads with the elders. Mason seems like he’s only along for the ride, until he’s pulled along by Ashley into a new world.
This story had a great hook and a great plot and solid storytelling…
What’s wrong with you Stephanie Erickson? The plot was plodding along steadily, the buildup to where Ashely and Mason leave the island leaves the reader in great suspense and on the edge of the seat and then Wham! You kill Ashley. No, no, and no. You cannot kill your main character and then attempt to promote Mason. Suddenly Ashely is dead and the book takes a twisted turn, but the pacing is thrown off kilter and you’ve killed a character unnecessarily, the main one at that! There were so few important people in the book and Ashley moved the entire plot along, she was the inquisitive mind and the do-it-yourself to get-it-done girl, she can’t be gone! This death was way too abrupt and the rest of the book is left hanging and the entire narrative is left to Mason. He is not up to snuff, though he does his best. The book was about Ashely, you cannot just get rid of her. I very much do not appreciate this turn of events and have docked the entire book’s rating down from a 5-star to a 4-star because of this jolting uneven pacing.
This novel was published by Pickles Press 03/10/2015 and is available on Amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25
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