SciFi Element: Dystopian
Order Online: Amazon.com
ARC provided by Amazon.com for review
PJ's QUICKIE POV:
The growing trend in dystopian fiction has sucked me in, hook, line and sinker. I thought I was getting another gem with AMERICA PACIFICA, the concept seemed so very original. Unfortunately the tone and descriptions of the world ruined it for me within the first few pages. The novel was just too gritty, the descriptions left a terrible taste in my mouth and I felt like I was swallowing back bile as I read through these pages. This, I guess is a remarkable testament to the writers abilities, but I think Ms. North took it too far, for me anyway. I was so busy entrenched in the smell of seaweed, the thought of communal bathrooms, public masturbating, unwashed armpits and greasy hair that I couldn’t attach myself to the character of Darcy. I wanted to wear gloves as I read this book, I didn’t want to bond with the story and main character.
The dystopian tale of AMERICA PACIFICA takes place on the island of the same name. The main character is Darcy, whom has just turned 18. A generation ago the inhabitants fled North America as it was overrun by glaciers from an impending ice age. The island is a horrendous place to live if you are poor. The poor basically live in shantytowns that are being sucked back into the sea. Darcy is among those poor, her only respite and friend, her mother. Yet, that is taken away from her when her mother disappears and Darcy is forced to search the island for her, finding out more and more about her mother’s past and her role in the creation of AMERICA PACIFICA.
I don’t want to go into specifics, but this novel left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The writing had an abstract and almost dull feel to it, probably to enforce the emotions of the main character who was a recovering huffer - so she herself was a bit abstract and dull. I just didn't want to read about this world and when sex was introduced, but not as a romantic device, but a "user" situation, I knew this just wasn't for me. The novel had the tone of a Steinbeck novel, that gritty, in-your-face, depressing quality that takes a certain mind-set to get through. Yet, Steinbeck wrote about real issues, real world depression that you could treat as a history lesson and AMERICA PACIFICA was all fantasy which left me unable to relate. I felt no hope while reading this novel, only a disturbing obsessive compulsion to bathe - and I think the human condition to triumph is what makes a dystopian great.
This is a DNF but I made it through 2/3rds of the book so I think it is fair that I gave it a review. I just couldn't take anymore so I put it to rest.
This is not for the feint of heart. Adults only, sex and violence. I did believe this was a Young Adult novel, because the character was 18 and it was marketed to young adult readers - it is not. Marketing Fail.