Series: The Iduna Project #1
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on July 12, 2013
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Paige is nineteen and genetically altered to stay that age forever. She lives with other "Forevers" like her in the secret IdunaCo. compound, a place where age reversal and immortality has been perfected and the only rules are to live in the moment. Enjoy every minute to its fullest. Be what you want to be for a while and when you get sick of it – be something else.
It all seems perfect until Paige realizes her friends are disappearing. The official word is they’ve been kidnapped by criminals on the outside who want to use them as feeders. Feeders have a short and brutal life – kept in captivity and sucked dry of all their youth cells so the Crime Lords can stay young forever.
When Paige has a breakdown she’s rescued from the Psych Centre by her mysterious but attractive friend Junius who involves her in a daring escape from the compound. Their purpose is to infiltrate the IdunaCo organization and find out what’s really happening to the missing "Forevers". Paige’s journey is complicated by charismatic musician, Chale, a Keener whose attraction to Paige is flattering but causes tension between her and Junius.
When Chale is slated to disappear Paige and Junius save him in the midst of their escape.
Once outside they learn more about their own special powers, reveal clues to their real identity but also realize the extent to which humans will go to achieve immortality. The mission becomes so dangerous Paige is forced to the limits of her endurance and has to make tough decisions about who she can trust – Junius or Chale.
I was asked to provide a review for The Forever Ones by Ms. DeLuca.
I thought the idea behind this book was great. When I first read the summary blurb, I knew I had to know more. The first bit of the book was very interesting: you see all the “forevers” living the eternal party lifestyle inside the compound, completely unaware of what’s happening on the outside. And then people start disappearing. That plus the stories from Lynette, a woman who remembers things from before the compound, I was hooked. Paige is as well, becoming curious about what else is out there. I liked that she wasn’t content to sit around and party all day. Neither was her mysterious friend Junius.
I found the book’s main question very compelling: Is it better to live forever? Youth becomes a currency in The Forever Ones. Throughout the story, the reader sees both the pros and cons of remaining 19 forever. It’s an interesting discussion that I thought Ms. DeLuca handled well and I’m interested to see how it plays out in the second book.
Paige, the main character, was cool. I liked her voice and her independence. She was a quick thinker, swiftly adapting to high stress situations. Sometimes though, I thought she came to conclusions a little too quickly. I liked that she was in the middle when you first met her; no one special, but not a loser either. I didn’t find myself irritated by her much at all, which is fairly unusual, except when the love triangle appeared. I won’t talk about the dreaded love triangle, because by now, you probably know I dislike them.
Without giving anything away, I’d like to say that I enjoyed Junius’ storyline. I kept wanting to know more about him. I preferred him to Chale, who actually got on my nerves quite a bit. He was very mysterious though, which got a little exhausting after a while. By the end, all that mystery is worth it though. I’m assuming his character will develop a lot more in the second one, since the mystery is uncovered by the end.
I loved the strife in Realtown. I thought it was some of the most believable conflict in the story. The older crowd is considered outcast, even though they have all the money. That seemed like a unique perspective for a dystopian novel. The community was so divided, it’s a miracle anything happened at all. The first night in Realtown was very fun to read. And oh boy, the creepiness of the people ‘buying’ feeders. CREEP FACTOR TIMES A MILLION. Lets just suck these kids dry (LITERALLY), that sounds like a good plan. DeLuca made no apologies for her antagonists, presenting them in all their creepified glory. I applaud that she didn’t back down from describing the disturbing workings of the society she created.
Ok. So, as I was reading, I found myself wanting more character development. I wanted the characters to be fleshed out a little more, to gain a little more insight into what they thought about the situations they were in. Even Paige, from whose perspective this story is told. I got some information from the way she reacted to situations, but I wanted to know more.
Things seemed too easy at times. I found myself wanting more obstacles for the characters to overcome; or at least have the obstacles already present cause more conflict.This was probably my biggest qualm about this book. There were quite a few moments where our heroes were breaking into or out of some high-security place, and they did it with ease and practically no extra helpful technology, and no one came after them. There were too many successes with not enough help or obstacles; if they had been in this compound their whole lives, and they knew nothing about the outside world, wouldn’t they have had more trouble?
It was a little unbelievable. Maybe it was because there’s some ‘man behind the curtain’ orchestrating everything, but I didn’t really get that sense, even once the CEO of Iduna is revealed. (SHOCKER btw)
And I’m hoping that in the second book DeLuca gives us more information about the Crime Lords. Because that could be a really interesting story in the making. I kept wanting to know who and what exactly they were. The tension and uncertainty with that element was great; I just wish there had been a little more revealed about the Crime Lords. I’m sure that’s coming in the second though.
The Forever Ones is an interesting sci-fi with a rather surprising twist at the end (something else I enjoyed quite a lot). I would have suggested another sweep by a developmental editor, to smooth out a few elements and maybe raise the stakes on some of the obstacles, but that’s strictly my opinion. It was still an entertaining read, regardless. DeLuca spent time and care at the end of The Forever Ones to set up the second, which I’m sensing will be more action/development, now that the world and the conflict have been set up.
If you like the movie The Island with Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson, it’s more than likely that you’ll like The Forever Ones.