Series: Chaos Theory #1
Released by Penguin on 18 March 2014
Genres: New Adult
Source: Netgalley, Received
Evalyn Ibarra never expected to be an accused killer and experimental prison test subject. A year ago, she was a normal college student. Now she’s been sentenced to a month in the compass room—an advanced prison obstacle course designed by the government to execute justice.
If she survives, the world will know she’s innocent.
Locked up with nine notorious and potentially psychotic criminals, Evalyn must fight the prison and dismantle her past to stay alive. But the system prized for accuracy appears to be killing at random.
She doesn’t plan on making friends.
She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This has not changed my opinion on the book in any way.
I am going to start off by saying that this book reminded me of the Hunger Games for criminals. But in a good way. (I have read (summaries of) some books that reminded me of the Hunger Games in such a way that I thought I was actually reading THG).
Ten criminals (murderers, rapists, people who have committed terrible crimes like that) people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five are send to the Compass Room, where it will be determined whether they are really guilty, or innocent.
Evalyn Ibarra is one of them. Then there are Jacinda, who prefers to be called Jace (why), Casey, Tanner, Valerie, Erity, Stella, Blaise, Salem and Gordon.
At first, I found it a bit hard to remember their names, especially those of the people that weren’t in Evalyn’s alliance group. But in the end I managed to remember! I was rooting for that entire alliance group to survive, because they had all started to grow on me, I started to like them, felt sympathy for them and started to understand why they committed their crimes. I had really hoped to see them all found innocent, but of course that could not happen.
I got sad when certain characters died, and I was so happy to find out that others had survived the Compass Room. There were some other characters, most of them from Evalyn’s past, but I couldn’t really relate to any of them, mainly because they weren’t in the story that often.
There was a lot of action in this book, some of which reminded me of the Hunger Games (events being manipulated by the makers of the Compass Room, like a big wave coming towards the group completely submerging the cabin they were staying at). And of course, the tests the inmates had to go through. All these tests were triggered by items linked to their crimes, for example Evalyn’s item was an old school desk. Some of the inmates were found guilty, after going through their test, and executed, and some of them managed to pass their test and live longer (the tests kept coming back).
I just thought all the action was amazing, I am a big fan of books with a lot of action and this was just the right amount of action for me, I loved it!
Honestly, even when reading the summary, I hadn’t expected a lot of romance in this book, but I can say that I liked every bit of it. I will not tell you with which character Evalyn gets it on (because from the summary it’s obvious it’s her), but I can say that I ship it.
People said this book is basically ‘The Hunger Games meets Lost’, and I can’t say much about the ‘Lost’ part (because I still haven’t seen it), but yes, it is kind of the adult version of The Hunger Games. With convicted grown-ups instead of innocent children. And yes, I loved every bit of it. I am a huge fan of the Hunger Games, and I would love to read more stories like that.
The only thing that I wasn’t very fond of, were the flashbacks. I know it might have been needed to tell the story, but I am just not a big fan of flashbacks. Luckily, these flashbacks were (almost always) announced with the date of the day it happened, so I always knew when I was reading about something that happened in the past, or something that was happening ‘right now’.
Sarah Harian’s writing is simple, easy but also very thrilling. I read 70% of the book in one day, because I just couldn’t stop myself from reading. I wanted to know how the story ended, who would be found guilty, and who would be found innocent. I can say the end surprised me a lot, and I had never expected certain characters to die/be found guilty.
So to everyone who’s read the Hunger Games, and wants to read more stories like this, I recommend The Wicked We Have Done to you!