PJV Quickie: These middle of the road reviews are usually the hardest to write, mostly because as I think of the “reasons” the book only made a three star rating, I want to lower the rating. It’s like focusing on all the negative attributes of your boyfriend. Yet, mainly ‘Origin’ was somewhere in the middle, it didn’t knock my socks off. The main character was good, yet the plot was weak.
Author: Jessica Khoury
Publication: September 4th 2012 by Razorbill
Source: BEA score from Grace
In a quest to create the perfect immortal being, a group of scientist has set up shop within a remote jungle. They have managed to create one perfect immortal being, Pia and her days are spent in study, for one day she will become a scientist like her mother and her father and her many “Uncles” and “Aunts” that work at the facility. Yet, one day a tree falls on the fence of her compound and curiosity wins over, luring Pia into the jungle and away from her gilded scientific cage. Within the jungle she comes upon a boy, a boy her age, with European looking qualities – to make him, of course look hot – who tempts Pia away from everything she knows.
The first irksome bit about this novel was the fact that they lived in a remote jungle and on Pia’s first traipse outside of her compound runs into Eio, the bastard child of one of the scientist with a local native. So he’s not all short and dark like the other natives. Wouldn’t be hot if he was a native, right? Pia is in insta-love with this hot, muscled, blue-eyed, hunter, half-native boy. Eio himself was just irksome, because like his ancestry, he was two different creatures, innocent and uniformed native, then in the next moment, world wary and wise. He did stupid things, yet was supposedly highly educated because his scientist father would sneak out and teach him. It just didn’t click true as me.
Then the other scientist which in Pia’s mind were these wonderful people that loved her and pampered her, yet quickly shifted as she became aware of what was really going on at the compound. This was also disconcerting and with little lead in, was confusing. All it takes is a boy to open your eyes.
The legend of the immortality was also not very flushed out. I didn’t quite grasp what was going on, mainly the generation part of the legend. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention, but I didn’t get it. Science wrapped in magic, or vice versa, nothing shed light on the situation to me and Pia’s final discovers left me with more questions then answers. Weave this with author tricks to drag out anxiety and I was rolling my eyes at the end of the book, instead of being emotionally moved.
Good things came with the underlying concept and the creation of Pia. Being in Pia’s head was pleasant. She was a very thrilling character and her ebbs and flows of thought were nice to partake in. I liked her transition in the novel even though at times I wanted her to just wake up and smell the bullshit. All kept in check because o the author’s pace of course, though.
Overall, I almost put this book down on three occasions and marked it as a DNF, but for some reason I kept continuing. Mostly because I wanted to see the final outcome of the novel, yet as I made it to the end, I don’t believe it was worth the read. I mark it middle of the road, mainly because I believe Pia’s character was the redeeming quality of the book and others not as prone as I am to dissect plot, will enjoy more.
I believe if you liked books with a science fiction background, you should like this one. I’m usually disappointed with science fiction young adult novels, but if you enjoy them, this one might be for you. I think I need more explanation then would be readily consumed by the average teen.
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