Monday, 26 January 2015

The Blemished by Sarah Dalton

First up... LOVE that cover. However, the story... not so much.
I struggled with the writing style in this book, and found it very hard to overlook. I felt my reins tugged this way and that way, my eyes and ears pointed directly at events, and this got very tiring. I'm a reader who likes to make up my own mind; I like to pick up clues like breadcrumbs, and it doesn't matter to me that the author is dropping them quite consciously. I just like to feel as though I'm doing some of it on my own.
The Blemished didn't allow me any of this independence, hence why I struggled.
The dystopian setting which Dalton has created is novel and interesting. The premise here is that our society's obsession with beauty and physical perfection has led to test tube babies, all others being classed as "lesser" and therefore not allowed to breed; only allowed to live in order to serve the GEMs.
I like the premise. The rest of the story sticks to tried and true teen dystopia lines, which is not to say it's bad, just to say it's predictable. Readers who enjoy this genre will not be disappointed; we all love books that turn out to be just as we expect them to be.
I think that maybe without Mina's supernatural power I might have enjoyed the book more. I think that the obsession with beauty, perfection and pageants was enough; there was no need to have another level within the story. Without the powers it makes the world scarily close and frighteningly possible on some level, but then when you throw in her abilities, we are swept into the realm of fantasy and I am left saying "Wait, what?" I'm no longer afraid for our future, exploring the ways in which society will implode on itself, which I believe is the strength and morbid fascination of reading dystopian fiction.

I realise that in not loving this book I am going against much popular opinion. For many of its intended audience I'm sure this book is a must-read. To see what others have said about The Blemished, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment