Thank you to Penguin Random House and the First to Read program for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
I love stories that have unconventional main characters and that was what drew me to this novel. I wanted to see how the author would spin this story and make it unique. Here are my thoughts:
Lee Cuddy is 17 and on the run. After being betrayed by her family and best friend, she finds refuge in a cooperative for runaways in a building called the Crystal Castle. However, this “safe haven” is a far more sinister place, where fanatical men set on decoding powerful secrets hidden in art take advantage of the young teens who find them. And Lee is their next target. With the help of Tomi, a young hacker and artist, Lee escapes into the unmapped corners of the city. But the deeper she hides, the more tightly the noose tightens around her neck. Desperate and out of options, Lee steps from the shadows to face who is after her—and why.
Wow, this book was not what I expected. And I don’t mean that in a good way. This novel really didn’t have anything that I enjoyed. I thought that the story would move at a much faster pace than it did … and it was seriously slow. It was also very unrealistic in terms of plot. Now, I know that sounds like a dumb comment, considering that this is fiction, but there needs to be a touch of realism in order to make the reader believe in the story. The amount of bad luck that follows Lee is ridiculous and the author’s struggle to tie in art, science made me cringe. The whole novel felt like this huge struggle where the author was trying to say something meaningful…. but there really wasn’t anything meaningful to say. To top it all off, the characters were all one-dimensional and didn’t have anything to connect me to them. Overall, this novel failed for me on many levels and I would give this a 1.5/5 stars.