Torsay Reviews is a feature that Lindsay and Tori have where they both read a book together and then review it. These posts will feature both Tori and Lindsay's review of a specific book and maybe even a discussion between the two on what they thought.Rise by Anna Carey
Series: Eve #3
Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult, Romance
Published by HarperCollins on April 2, 2013
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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?
In Rise, Eve must choose who to leave behind, who to save, and who to fight as Anna Carey's epic tale of romance and sacrifice in the chilling dystopia of The New America comes to a stunning conclusion.
NOTE: There are spoilers for books one and two, Eve and Once respectively, in this review. Read at your own risk.
If you've read my review of Eve, then you'd know that I loved that book. Like, a lot. There was the right amount of action and romance and mystery that just made the book all that amazing. Then if you've read my review of Once, then you'd know that I wasn't too fond of that one, although I didn't hate it either. Once suffered from Second Book Syndrome, and it just didn't have as much going on as the first book, which made it somewhat boring.
Now if you've read my review of Rise, then--
Oh, wait. That's what you're doing. Right. Knew that.
Onto the review. To be blunt, Rise was boring. Nothing happens until page 280. At least, nothing interesting, anyway. The first 280 pages was a whole bunch of Eve missing Caleb, Eve pretending (yes, I say pretending) to be brave, and Eve putting people in danger. And in the middle, maybe even a little bit of Eve being the naive little girl that she was in book one. Basically, throughout this entire book, the entire book, Eve annoyed the crap out of me.
Around page 100, Eve helps girls from the Schools that have come to the City escape. Nine of them. At first, it seems like a good idea to her. But then they get on the road and this one girl--Bette--doesn't like her. (Shocker.) Eve begins to realize that this is a bad idea. (No crap?) So Eve's taking these girls to Califia, and at first I think this is a great idea to move the plot along, but no. Again with the nothing happening. They travel for about 100 pages of nothing. Turns out, Bette's stupid, almost gets them killed, and she still manages to despise Eve in her free time.
I think the biggest fault with this book was my lack of emotion toward the characters. Well, any emotion other than hate. I think that a book's characters should be memorable enough that even if it takes me three years to pick up the next book, I should still remember how much I cared about the characters. I didn't care about any of the characters in Rise. Also, I don't think Carey gives us enough time to cultivate feelings for the girls from the Schools that Eve brings to Califia. The book seemed rushed to me.
Nothing happened (I've said this several times, I realize), but things were still rushed. When I say nothing happened, I mean nothing important happened. The events that did occur seemed irrelevant to me. In Eve and even in Once, the major plot points were clear and big and meaningful, but in Rise they just didn't seem as, you know, clear and big and meaningful.
In conclusion, I just wasn't feeling it with Rise. I'm not going to say that Rise ruined the series for me, because I don't regret reading the trilogy, per say. It's just that it wasn't the best ending that could've happened for the trilogy. I think the ending should've been bigger and better and just more monumental than it actually was.
When an author concludes a series, I feel like there should be a big buildup throughout the last book. There should be major issues, major self discovery where applicable, and end with a note that ties up loose ends but leaves the reader wanting more. To be honest, as much as I enjoyed the Rise series, it just didn't do that for me.
Because this is a conclusion book, I won't talk much about the characters, major plot spoilers and issues as much. I like to look more at how it ended a series I spent my time reading. Once ended with a whimper rather than a bang. There was a lot going on, I'll give Carey that. However I felt no build up, no pressure, no stress with what was happening. And then how it ended - I won't spoil this part for you, but I must say that I do not understand how that person at the end of the novel existed. It just makes me angry almost to think about how throughout the book there were no explanations or mentions of this possibility, and then it happens.
Character-wise, Once was lacking. There was a bunch of new girls added into the mix from the schools who were either forgettable or irrelevant, old characters killed off without a second thought, and even though Eve was changing, something was missing with her relationships. She almost seemed like a numb character, like she was detached from everything and not in an artistic writing way. I also noticed that there were a lot of characters throughout the novel with such little parts that made the book feel like a rough draft. Mauve from Califia, her daughter, Bette, Beatrice and Sarah. They all just seemed irrelevant to me and didn't seem to have a purpose to the plot whatsoever.
And don't get me started on Caleb being dead the entire novel.
He would have made the book more readable, and I think it was a dumb move for Anna Carey to cut him out because romance is what sells with readers these days.
For some readers there was no epilogue at the end of the book unless they got the book after it's first publication. I was excited at the chance to read it, given the ending. And when I closed the book I really didn't understand why the epilogue was needed. It was irrelevant and overall frustrating. Some parts were cute but it didn't really make the point of even including it. Sure, the new world is crumbling after everything Eve has done and they're going back to Califia, but really, why is this needed? It just ruined what I had previously read and honestly, kind of made me hate Eve who I defended the entire book.
If you're in the middle of the series, I suggest finishing it, just because I can't stand leaving a series halfway through. Eve was fantastic and could have been a great standalone book, but the series seemed to tumble downward instead of creating a buildup. I'm disappointed with the ending of the trilogy, but will keep the first book as a favorite regardless.