I was sent a copy of this book by My Kinda Book in exchange for an honest review. Although, in all honesty, if I hadn’t been sent a copy, I very likely would have bought one anyway, because it looked great. Sprayed red edges, a stark red and white contrast, and a blurb which had me utterly hooked from the beginning. What was not to like?
Orphan Black meets Lord of the Flies in the riveting new sci fi thriller from the cowriter of the Virals series.
It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.
Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.
For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.
I’ll tell you what’s not to like about this. Nemesis is the first in the Project Nemesis series. I only realised this about thirty pages from the end of the book, when it became abundantly clear that it was not going to be possible to wrap up the dangling plot threads in the time remaining. So because I wasn’t aware of that as I was reading the book, I was left distinctly disappointed when I finished.
I have mentioned this so many times before, but I really hate books that leave you on a cliffhanger at the end of the first book in a series. I have no issue with leaving continuing plot lines over a larger arc, but I want a resolution to the story which was set up in the first book. In Nemesis, I did not get this. Nemesis ends poised to begin the greater conflict of the series, and it is infuriating to have to wait for the next – largely because I didn’t realise at the time of reading that I would have to wait for the next book.
For that reason, my rating of this book is probably lower than it would have been had I known at the beginning that I was starting a series. I still don’t like the way it’s done, as I don’t feel like it has a proper resolution or conclusion to the book, but I wouldn’t have been as angry if I knew it was going to happen.
Other than that major gripe, though, this was a very enjoyable book. Min, the main character, is paranoid and suspicious (entirely understandably), and trusts nobody in her little po-dunk town, other than her best friend Tack. After being murdered in cold blood for the fifth time, she decides she needs to find out what the hell is going on in her life.
Noah, the other main character, doesn’t come into the story until a fair bit later, is less interesting than Min, but still the two of them make for a solid pair of intertwining narratives, as they come to realise that their stories are much more closely related than they previously thought. With plenty of conflict, mystery, conspiracies, and out-and-out murder, this twisting, thrilling, wild ride went in directions that I would not have expected, and ended up in a place which has set up for Genesis to be a real stonker of a book. But actually, I think Genesis will likely be the better of the duology (I mean I hope it’s a duology), although very, very different to what I thought Nemesis would be.
Infuriated by the way this book was set up and what it turned out to be, I finished with a feeling of immense dissatisfaction, but had I known that I was going to be set up for a half a story, I likely would have found it a lot more enjoyable. So my medium rating is as much to do with my disappointment in the lack of flagging that we were only getting half a story as it is to do with the quality of that half a story.