I’m thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for THE POLARIS UPRISING, a new YA dystopia by debut author Jennifer Ibarra. I had only one major complaint with this book–read on to find out what it was….
Publication date: October 30th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
In less than seven years, eighteen-year-old Ryla Jensen will succeed her father as the president of Neress, a nation where all citizens are cared for from the moment they’re born. Fed, sheltered, even educated—every need of theirs is met.
The only price they pay is their free will.
Groomed since childhood to take on a role she’s not even sure she wants, Ryla’s only escape from the pressures of duty is her sister, Alanna. But when her eyes are opened to the oppressive regime her father built, she begins to question everything she’s set to inherit—and finds herself at odds with her sister’s blind allegiance to their father.
Torn between loyalty to her family and the fight for freedom, Ryla must decide just how far she’s willing to go to make a stand and risk losing the person she loves most in the world: Alanna.
When I first saw the offer for this one show up in my email, I paused. YA? Okay, I like YA. Dystopian? Hmm. Maybe. I’ll have to think about it. I loved Delirium (such beautiful writing–book two was decent, but I’m afraid to see where three is going so I’m delaying reading it), enjoyed Uglies (though didn’t finish that series either, come to think of it–adult books keep distracting me, darn it), and will be reading Divergent really soon, if only to shut up Mini Moe #2 and every single seventh grade girl at my school. I can’t stand Katniss, though, and refuse to read any further than The Hunger Games—which yes, makes me one of like, three people on the planet, I realize–so…I didn’t know. Should I take a chance?
Then I looked at the dates. I had plenty of time to struggle through it, if need be. Plus, my stop on the tour would be during winter break, so…
I went for it.
And it blew me away.
I had to keep saying to myself, This is her first published work! because, seriously, it was amazing. It had a slowish start–trying to figure out what’s going on in a dystopian-type setting always takes a bit of work, without the jarring ‘info dump’ which thankfully wasn’t here–but once it really got going I didn’t want to put it down. I figured out at about 40% that there was going to have to be at least one more book in the series (upon checking Jennifer Ibarra’s website, it’s actually two) because Ryla and Alanna are still blissfully ignorant about what’s going on in their country–the country their father is currently running, and which Ryla will take over in seven years at that point. There’s no way they can fix what’s wrong here by the end of this book, I told myself.
And darn it, I was right.
Actually, I should say thank goodness I was right! because any fix that could have been accomplished in the time that was left in the book just wouldn’t have been satisfying. There’s just too much that is out-and-out wrong in Neress from its conception, and way too much that is going wrong between Ryla and Alanna by the book’s end (seriously, the kids had to keep asking if I was all right as I got closer and closer to the end of the novel. Apparently I was making many distressed noises without realizing it, and it was disturbing their Minecrafting or whatever they were so busy doing that day) for a satisfactory end.
So…we’re left with a cliffhanger of sorts…and Falling Star isn’t due out until 2015 (by which I sincerely hope Ms. Ibarra means JANUARY of 2015–please, Ms. Ibarra?) and neither Ryla nor Alanna is in a terribly good place for all that time…
But, hey–at least they’re not left plunging headlong into Tartarus, huh, Rick Riordan? So at least we have that.
We also have an extremely well-written YA dystopian novel that centers on the relationship between two sisters (it’s been compared to a dystopian Frozen, and gosh darn it, they’re not wrong) that doesn’t have a single love triangle in sight. (ALLELUIA!) There’s some nice romantic elements, but I wouldn’t call it a straight-up romance. It is, however one heck of a read.
Rating: A/ 5 stars
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Honestly, I loved it!
Jennifer Ibarra grew up on a steady diet of books, Star Wars, and other fantastic feats of the imagination. Her debut novel, The Polaris Uprising, is the first book in a trilogy and mixes dystopia with family drama, romance, and political intrigue.
She lives in Silicon Valley, where she does marketing for a tech company and spends her time running, cooking, baking, and keeping up with celebrity gossip.
Follow the rest of the tour HERE.