Friday, January 11, 2013

Review: The Farm

The Farm
Author: Emily McKay
Published: December 4, 2012
420 pages
3 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race...

I found this book randomly. I had never heard of it, was intrigued by the cover and description and went right in, not sure how I'd react. I like doing that. I've discovered some of my favourite books that way (Soul Screamers series) so I'm not going to lie when I said I had high hopes that this new vampire series would suck me in. I was disappointed to say the least that by the time I got halfway through, I didn't want to finish. But I kept going, partly because I'd gone too far and partly because I wanted to see it redeem itself.

The main character, Lily, isn't the most likeable girl. I mean neither was Katniss, but there was something about Katniss that made me love her. Lily just annoyed me. Lily is trying to escape the Farm, a housing place for teenagers living in a world full of Ticks. Her autistic sister, Mel, is her only burden but she will do anything for her. Though I hate that she thinks of her as a burden since Mel is stronger than she is and I quite enjoyed her character better than Lily's. And when Carter, a guy Lily crushed on in the Before, suddenly arrives on the camp she is suddenly back in his arms. One of the problems I found with this was that since we get all three of their viewpoints, we soon found exactly what Carter was up too instead of trying to figure out whether he was a good guy or bad guy throughout the novel. His perspective almost seemed redundant and I think the book would have been stronger with just Lily and Mel's points.
Another thing I found strange was that Lily and Mel's points were both first person, but Carter's was third. It didn't make sense why she would bother with that since we still saw what he was thinking anyway. It just ended up confusing me. 

The plot moved a little too slowly for me and it had me wishing they'd escape sooner. But once they did finally get out of the Farm, the action got good. The Ticks are a nice change from the pretty vampires we've been seeing. They are ugly, animalistic, and not at all human. The last 100 pages went by in a flash and I found myself finally wanting to know what would happen to them. I'm not sure if it was enough to make me want to pick up the next book in the series, but it was a nice twist to what I thought would happen. Maybe by the time it comes out, I'll know if I want to know how this story will end.

They are as pitiable as they are inhuman. They are fear personified. Their emotions and minds given over to rage and hunger. They are all noise. He is none.

If he is not a Tick, does that make him a Tock?

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