Vanshika (@thatreadingfaerie on Instagram) has kindly sent me an ebook of her book Rebel to review – thank you! I thought it was a nice, quick read, fitting in the dystopian/rebel ya trend.
The book is about two sisters: Arsyn and Tatiana. Arsyn is the rebel sister, wanting to throw over the corrupted government, ruled by an internation, the Eirene, that rules most of the world by torturing people and sending them into a dangerous labyrinth if they do whatever is deemed criminal. Tatiana, however, has other interests. She is in a relationship with the Supreme of the internation, Sinit. She believes the government has the best interests of its people at stake. But is she right? And is her boyfriend as kind as he acts with her, or is he as bad as people think he is? The sisters love each other very much and have a pretty strong bond, which makes this contradiction in their beliefs extra interesting.
There’s quite a few side characters, and even though they were nice, they weren’t nearly as interesting as the relation between the two sisters was. Both sisters at some point dealt with some sort of love triangle, which didn’t really work for me. I think it would have been better had the story focussed even more on the interaction between the sisters and their inner conflicts. But the side characters did work well in the sense that they gave us more inside in the main characters’ personalities.
The story is set in future Canada/US. There’s not a lot of focus on surroundings and such, but mainly on the action and dialogue. Those are worked out really well. Vanshika put a lot of thought into the plot and how everything was connected. The more scientific parts were interesting and clever. The book ends in a cliffhanger, making me curious about the next book.
I found the writing to have potential, but I could see room for improvement. The text had a nice flow and was very readable, making this a quick read. Also, it was pretty funny at times. However, the story could profit from a little more variation in words and sentence structure. It’s clear that the author is still young, but this is definitely a promising start.
This book has two main strenghts: character(s) (interaction) and world-building. The characters were relatable because of their inner conflicts, which made them realistic. Also, the background of the story was well thought-out, providing a good reason for everything that happened. The writing shows potential, but doesn’t fully live up to it yet.