Saturday, April 5, 2014

Review: Adaptation

10744752Title: Adaptation
Author: Malinda Lo
Genre: YA, science fiction

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:Reese can’t remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She’s different now.
Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.
Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened, where they are—or how they’ve been miraculously healed.
Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction—and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. I read and enjoyed Ash by the same author, a unique retelling of Cinderella. I was excited to see a sci-fi book by Lo, since Ash really pushed the boundaries of fairy tales and I wanted to see how that would translate to science fiction. In the end, I loved the portrayal of racial minorities and queer characters, but the plot was a little too strange for me.

Adaptation starts off with Reese and her debate partner, David Li, stranded at an airport with their coach. Flocks of birds have suddenly been attacking planes and causing them to crash. As the situation escalates, the country goes into a state of national emergency and panic ensues. Then all of a sudden, everything stops. But something has changed for Reese, and there may be more to those birds than anyone realizes...

I was intrigued by the premise - it sounded so mysterious and a little bit freaky. I was expecting a bizarre explanation, but the one I got was even more far-fetched than I was expecting. While the really out-there explanation worked for me in Ultraviolet, this one didn't gel so well. I will say that if you are expecting a paranormal book, this book is definitely heavier on the science fiction.

I really loved the way the characters were portrayed in this book. I know Malinda Lo takes representing minorities in fiction very seriously, and it shows. There's an Asian major character, a woman president, queer major characters, and just generally a wide variety of people. This book does a good job of taking a snapshot of the people that make up the real world - different colors and beliefs, but not defined by any one characteristic. All the relationships in this book were treated with respect and care, and I appreciated that a lot - there are so many YA books that involve insta-love and unhealthy relationships, and this is certainly not one of them.

This wasn't quite what I was expecting - some aspects were pleasantly surprising and others, not so much. I probably won't be continuing this series, but I did like this book. I'd recommend it for people who enjoy science fiction and appreciate diversity in their books.

*A free copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


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4 comments:

  1. I'm happy to hear you liked this book (even if you didn;t love it as much as Ash). I loved the plot but I definitely know what you mean about it being a bit out there.

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  2. Bizarre sometimes works and sometimes it just doesn't. I might still check this one out, but sorry you didn't love it!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  3. Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, I just felt like there was too much going on towards the end with all the conspiracies. I did really like Ash though, so I'll probably keep reading other books by the author :)

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  4. Yeah, I wish I'd like this book more - there was a lot to like, but I couldn't get over some of the strange explanations. I hope you enjoy it!

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