Author: Anna Carey
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Dystopian Chick Lit
Publication Date: April 2, 2013 (HarperTeen – North America)
Source: Publisher-provided ARC
Summary: How far will you go when you have nothing left to lose?
When she lost her soul mate, Caleb, Eve felt like her world had ended. Trapped in the palace, forced to play the part of the happy, patriotic princess of The New America—and the blushing bride of her father’s top adviser—Eve’s whole life is a lie. The only thing that keeps her going is Caleb’s memory, and the revolution he started.
Now, Eve is taking over where Caleb left off. With the help of Moss, an undercover subversive in the King’s court, she plots to take down The New America, beginning with the capital, the City of Sand. Will Eve be able to bring about a new, free world when she’s called upon to perform the ultimate act of rebellion—killing her father?
☆: 3/5 stars – a very predictable but solid ending.
Review: Oh, “Rise”, I had such high hopes for you after the disappointment (mostly disappointing, semi-solid) that was “Once”. “Rise” was a relatively predictable ending I saw coming at the start of this book, though I did enjoy the very last page the most out of all of it. Sadly, the “Eve” series, which started off so very, very strong, just kind of descended into dystopian chick lit. And that made me sad. I know I’m definitely in the minority here, for what that’s worth. So while “Rise” is a very solid ending, it just kind of didn’t do it for me.
What I can say is that Carey did a fantastic job with sensory imagery in terms of her further worldbuilding with the City (old Las Vegas) – I absolutely loved all of that starting to crumble, both ideologically and physically with the rebellion. She did a great job with worldbuilding (and dismantling in this book, so I can definitely give her that. We also get to see more of the Wilds and return to Califia, but I think the parts where we really get to see the opulence of the City were my favorite parts, predictable plot bits aside.
I also did like the big reveal curveball that we got thrown concerning Caleb in this book (well, both of them) – those two big reveals really saved the book, in my opinion, and though they’re both small, they do affect everything Eve does in a huge way. They’re also nice mirroring circumstances as one is in the start of the book, and the other, in the final pages. So, though predictable filling in between those two BRs? They were great, and book-saving, but just not enough for me to make the book really stand apart from book 2, and for a good ending for book 3 in general.
As for the rest – well, I feel like I understand Eve’s going through the motions for both her Father and for that of the resistance, she felt so very lifeless, and almost 1D in quality. The writing felt very flat there and while I know so much of that was meant to convey how Eve really felt despite her behaviors, but it felt like Carey was phoning it in a bit for Eve as a character there for quite a bit of the book until the revolution really begins. And I really don’t like it when authors phone in their protags, even if they’re supposed to be feeling flat, sad, and grieving. I should be feeling that in me, not trying to determine whether it’s the author or me not being able to quite entirely feel that protag’s feels. If that makes sense.
We also have another Tolkienesque large bit of the book that mirrors book 2 nicely in that there’s a lot of journeying and walking about from or to the goal of the fight, and it felt like the reverse trip that Caleb and Eve made in book 2 to Califia. For that part, I wasn’t feeling it either, because it was such a mirror to book 2, and again, I feel like that was being phoned in, too. Except there were more girls than just Eve alone, and no Caleb. The revolution itself? I wanted more fight from Eve despite her circumstances, not just being noble and leading the girls out. I was hoping for more, considering how she acted at the end of book 2, which gave me such hope for this book. But none of that was really here in this book.
The book is cohesive, strong, solid, and it’ll hold water, which is why it’s strong enough for three stars. But it could have been so much more, which is why I say I’m in the minority with not giving it five (or more) stars, but at this point, I just expect more out of my dystopians in YA. I do. And while I’ll always love “Eve” as a great, strong first book in a series…I just wish “Rise” had taken a few more risks than it did, amongst other things.
But that’s just how I feel. If you’ve been journeying with Eve and company since book 1, you may as well end it in this book. “Rise” is out now from HarperTeen in North America, so be sure to check it out when you get the chance!