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I Belong

Review: Icons by Margaret Stohl

Title: Icons

Author: Margaret Stohl

GenreYA Sci-Fi

Series: Icons (Book 1)

Publication Date: May 7, 2013

FormatHardcover, 448 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316205184 (LB Kids)

ISBN-13978-0316205184 (LB Kids)

Reviewed by: Bridget


Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol’s family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn’t know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside — safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can’t avoid.

She’s different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador’s privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn’t a coincidence. It’s a conspiracy.

Within the Icon’s reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions — which they’ve always thought to be their greatest weaknesses — may actually be their greatest strengths.

Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts — in order to save the future.

Quick & Dirty: Interesting story with a mix of Sci-fi/dystopian elements weaved in.  There was good action, but I had a hard time connecting to the characters.

Opening Sentence: One tiny gray dot, no bigger than a freckle, marks the inside of the baby’s chubby arm.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Doloria Maria de la Cruz is special — she survived The Day.  When she was a baby there was an attack on Earth from an extraterrestrial life form called the Icons.  On that day the power stopped and over a billion people’s hearts just stopped beating.  Dol’s whole family died that day but she didn’t.  Many years later she is living in the countryside, safe from the Icons and the people that now run the government.  She lives there with her best friend Ro, who also survived that day.

The world is run by the Embassy and they have a contract with The Lords (the owners of the Icons) to provide people to build their projects.  No one ever comes back from the projects and no one knows what The Lords are building.  Soon after Dol turns 17 the Embassy comes for her and Ro.  They are taken to Embassy headquarters where they meet Lucas and Tima.  Turns out that all of them have some remarkable similarities and they know that there’s a reason they are all brought together. They all have a different talent that made them more than human, and now they need to figure out why they are different and why they survived.

Dol is our main character and the story is told from her point of view.  Dol can feel everyone’s emotions and if she touches you she can see your memories and feel your thoughts.  At times it is hard for her to control her power and it gets overwhelming for her.  She is a very loyal and trusting person which gets her in trouble at times.  Honestly, I didn’t dislike Dol, but there really wasn’t anything about her that really stuck with me.  I feel like she was very forgettable and I didn’t really connect with her on any level.

Ro has a hard time controlling his emotions.  When he gets upset it is like he in on fire and he is unstoppable.  He doesn’t always have complete control of himself and he can be very dangerous.  But he can ignite that feeling in others as well and get people really rallied up if he wants to.  He has known Dol for pretty much their whole lives.  They have always been friends but it has turned into something more for Ro.  He really cares about Dol and would do anything for her.  Dol also cares about Ro, but she doesn’t know if she can be more than friends with him.  I really don’t see them ending up together, I felt that they lacked chemistry and they just didn’t click for me.

Lucas is the son of the ambassador.   His talent is that he is a charmer.  He can get people to do whatever he wants and everyone loves him.  You would think with someone that has that kind of influence they would use it to their advantage, but Lucas really tries not to.  He doesn’t want to manipulate others, and he really tries to be a good person.   Because his mother runs the Embassy the other Icon children have a hard time trusting him.  He starts to develop some feelings for Dol and I actually liked them together.  I felt that they had some good tension and chemistry.  The romance in this book did fall a little short for me.  There were some cute moments but really nothing that gave me butterflies or got my heart beating a little faster, which disappointed me.

The last Icon Child is Tima.  She is the master of fear.  She uses fear and anxiety to motivate tactical perfectionism in battle, but she rarely will participate in any physical combat. She is a computer whiz and she happens to be totally gorgeous.  She has had a thing for Lucas for a while now, but he doesn’t seem to notice.  She doesn’t really like Dol or Ro when they show up but she eventually learns to respect them.

This was a good read, but at times I got a little bored with it.  The idea was interesting and I enjoyed the world that Stohl created, but there were moments that dragged a little.  I also had a hard time with the characters, none of them really stood out to me and they seemed easily forgettable.  I did enjoy the story, there was pretty good action and some twists I wasn’t expecting.  Even though this book did have a lot of flaws, I still enjoyed it and I am looking forward to the next installment in the series.  I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys dystopian or sci-fi books.

Notable Scene

The blast does more than blow open the door.

The blast has rocked the Tracks so hard, the car seems to have gone off the rails. My ears are ringing. The floor is no longer beneath me but next to me. The roof is gone, and through the jagged hole that remains, I can see the open air.

I pick myself up from the tangle of Fortis and wall and floor, the debris of what used to be the prison car, and take off running through the opening.

“Thank you, Fortis,” Fortis calls after me. “You’re welcome, little Grassgirl. Anytime.”

I run faster, along the smoking cars. I can tell from the footsteps that there are Sympas behind me. Probably half a dozen more around the cars. I didn’t feel them coming. I have to pay better attention.

But thanks to the Merk, I have a head start. I have to get to the water. That’s all that goes through my head. I know I’ll be safe there because I know what I’ll find—and who. I turn, more sharply now, disappearing into the tall weeds on the west. My feet catch on the rocks beneath me, but I stumble forward. I know the Sympas are close behind me, and I don’t look back.

I keep running, moving in the exact direction where I can feel the bonfire ahead of me—racing toward the shore, just like me. My one sure trajectory, my best chance for survival.


Icons Series:

1. Icons

FTC Advisory: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of Icons. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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