(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I felt this book was a fairly unique read. Even though I would have liked the opportunity to see more of the world before the house, I found this book really easy to read… if intensely sad in places.
There’s something pretty awful about anyone knowing that they’re going to die soon… but the idea of having children all stuck in a house, away from their families and knowing they’re going to die, is even more horrible.
I thought it was interesting to see the hierarchy formed in the house with all of the children. I also liked the fact that Jake wasn’t just shown as a bad kid… that there were some redeeming qualities about him and that it seemed he did try to reach out; at least a little. I liked Daniel a lot less… I thought he just came across as a bully. I did feel some sympathy for him… but I didn’t really like him.
It was interesting to see how the children all dealt with the inevitable. I felt that the boys were a bit more developed character-wise than the girls. I could tell the difference easier with the male characters, whereas I got somewhat confused over who was who with the girls… at least until Clara came into the picture.
I thought it was good to see the friendship and then romance develop between Toby and Clara. I felt it moved realistically, even though there was the feeling it was doomed from the start. I enjoyed reading the way they bonded through their explorations… and also through the bird they found.
There were some really sad moments in this book. I liked seeing how Ashley tried to instill hope and do what he felt was the right thing, instead of ignoring his fellow youngsters when they started exhibiting signs of the disease.
I would have liked a bit more detail about the Defective gene. I did find it difficult to like any of the adult characters. There was really only one exception to that.
It would be good to read a sequel to this book and gain more information about the society outside of the Death House. Even though this book was really upsetting to read, I’m glad I was able to give it a try.