Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publication Date: November 8th, 2015
Goodreads Rating: 3.70
Synopsis: Genetically flawed. Perfectly human.
When seventeen-year-old Lucas Marshall tests positive for the M0A1 gene—a genetic abnormality believed to predispose humans toward violence—he is shipped off to an impregnable government facility to undergo a battery of psychological tests aimed at making him crack. Now, having survived their tests and proven his mental stability, Lucas is labeled safe to return home.
But any hope Lucas has of returning to a normal life is shattered when the van transporting him to the reintegration facility is forced off the road by a group of radicals intent on accessing the facility and exposing it’s dehumanizing practices. And Lucas is their ticket through the front door.
Spurred by rumors that the facility is secretly holding one of his old friends captive, Lucas and his bunk mate, Chris, agree to infiltrate the testing facility’s inner sanctum. But once inside, Lucas’s carefully laid plans begin to unravel, and he’s forced to seek help from a group of kids he neither knows nor trusts. And when every genetic test claims your only allies are hardwired to become the next Charles Manson, it’s impossible to know who has your back.
It has taken me a long, long time to gather my thoughts on this book, because there are so many different factors to consider when reviewing an ARC like this. It was extremely difficult because I honestly loved the premise of this book and the plot, I even loved the other book from these authors called Sweet Madness, but the overall impression of Hardwired left me lacking.
What I liked:
The main character in this novel is a rebellious young man, used to hatred, betrayal, and loneliness. He’s strong in what he seems to represent and truly stands up for what he believes is right, even when it doesn’t always go his way. He’s dependable and consistent in character and has morally sound values despite his rebellious ways. I appreciate Lucas as a character, standing against the authority and being the one voice of reason in the mad house that is the testing facility.
I love dystopians. I really, really love amazing dystopians. To me, this almost had the darker feel of The Darkest Minds, mixed with a genetic defect or anomaly. I was stoked to find another dystopian, and this one had such promise. The idea of the genetic anomaly and the testing facility was so interesting. I really would have loved to see this idea and the entire story drawn out a little more. Following the main character through the entire testing time that he was in there, going through each fight, each test, and each over-use of authority with him would have been tremendous. I’d have loved to see a story develop off that and then continue into the book that is currently written as Hardwired, since this picks up towards the end of the main character’s stay.
What I Didn’t Like:
The entirety of this book takes place over a very short time. The timing from the first climax through the end of the book takes place over just twenty-four hours, while the rest of the book seemingly takes a few days. Not only this, but there was one scene itself which seemed to take over about five chapters within the book. Consistency in pacing is so important in allowing your readers minds to fluently follow the story without any missteps or lack of information.
I mostly say this because I felt underwhelmed by Chris, Carly, and Chris’ friendship with Lucas. Many times I kept asking myself how Lucas and Chris were so trusting of each other. I wanted to truly see their friendship come to life and dig deeper into Chris’ personality. Carly most of the time just annoyed me. She was a main character that kind of came out of no where and just acted of her own accord the entire time. Half the time, I was seriously thinking she was just going to murder everyone in there because she seemed unstable to begin with. I know that Lucas tried to explain her idiosyncrasies, but without developing her character more and diving into what made her so asinine, she just seemed plain crazy half the time.
Throughout this ARC, there were a lot of unnecessary repeated lines, paragraphs, and dialogue. I felt that a good editor could do a lot with this ARC and I honestly would like to read the finished version to see if any of these inconsistencies and repetitions were fixed. I believe I would have enjoyed this ARC a lot more if there had just been one more thorough reading from the editors.
Overall, Hardwired gets 3 hearts from me…
I do honestly hope that Trisha and Lindsay try a dystopian idea again because I really loved the idea of this book, but felt that the execution of it just didn’t work. I believe putting this plot and manuscript through a few more beta readers, critique partners, and professional editors could have made it a masterpiece of dystopian YA. There are still many good bits and pieces of this ARC that I loved, but the inconsistencies in pacing, grammar, and character development overwhelmed me while reading it. I still recommend that you get the finished copy of Hardwired, because it’s a very interesting premise that I would love to be able to enjoy more thoroughly.
Remember to keep your eye on these authors though, as the more they seem to work together, the better they get. I believe that at some point in their career, these two could be as powerful of a duo as Cassie Clare and Holly Black.
About the Authors:
(All Information comes from their Goodreads profiles)
Trisha Leaver resides on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather excitable black lab. Her YA Horror novel CREED is coming in Fall of 2014 from Flux. Her YA Contemporary THE SECRETS WE KEEP coming in the Winter of 2015 from FSG/Macmillan
I live in Chicago, Illinois with one incredibly patient hubby, three amazing kids and one adorable, but irreverent Bullmastiff named Sam.
On the co-authored front, my debut novel, CREED (co-authored with Trisha Leaver), released from Flux on November 8, 2014. SWEET MADNESS releases from Merit on September 15, 2015, and HARDWIRED releases from Flux on November 8, 2015. However, my debut solo novel, JAMMED (young adult contemporary) is scheduled to hit shelves from Spencer Hill Press/ Spencer Hill Contemporary in 2016 and a second stand-alone novel, SUMMER SKY will releases in 2017. I am represented by Kathleen Rushall, of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Any inquiries regarding my work should be sent to her attention.
I hope you all have an amazing week!