Author: Brendan Reichs
Pages: 464 pages
Release Date: March 21st, 2017
Source: ARC from Penguin Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Rating: 4/5 stars
Orphan Black meets Lord of the Flies in this riveting new thriller from the co-author of the Virals series.I absolutely loved this book. Originally spiked by curiosity behind the cryptic synopsis, I was pretty apprehensive to read this book afraid that the reveal was going to be some far-fetched and blown-out-of-proportion ending. Who was I kidding? Far-fetched and unreasonable endings are my guilty pleasure. I was surprised to find that the ending actually made a lot more sense than I had initially given it credit for. There was still mystery in the ending but it felt pretty wrapped up for the most part and we had half the answers we were looking for (not all, of course, because there is a sequel).
It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.
Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.
For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.
Buy it here!
Why talk about the ending first? Well, I just want you to know what you're getting yourself into before committing. I thought the story and plot itself were incredibly complex, with the author having planned out every detail. Like I said, there were so many unanswered questions in the end but I have a feeling the author did that on purpose to make us squirm for book two. This book was especially excellent in keeping me in the dark. I literally had no freaking clue what was going to happen in the end. Trying to guess the big reveal? Nope, that didn't help at all. I was just as confused as the characters and that helped me better connect with them.
The characters, oh boy. I gotta sit down for this. The only character that I really connected to was Thomas or Tack, as he's most commonly referred to as. He doesn't receive his own chapters so we know he's a side character, but I thought he was the only character that ever had any depth or real situations to when hell broke lose. Our main characters Min and Noah were incredibly dull and barely developed through the story. Kinda overlooked the characters though because I was too concerned with the plot and finding that big reveal.
The only thing that I really had a major issue with was with the underlying references to mental health. Our main character, Noah, experiences anxiety attacks (can we even call them attacks?) as a result of his experience with murder and death. Throughout the story he perceives himself as this weak and spineless character. But suddenly near the end of the book when he realizes he's not really crazy or mentally-ill, he states that he wasn't "flawed" or "broken" anymore. I dunno, something about that just really triggered me as it kind of sounded as if he was implying that being mentally ill made him "flawed", "broken" and "weak".
Overall Nemesis was a fast-paced and well-written science fiction thriller. It kept me on the edge of my seat through every page, and I really enjoyed the in-depth focus to the question the author posed about the finality of death. It was no doubt a page turner with a well though out plot line and a foundation for a promising series.
Brendan Reichs: Joins Me To Talk About Inspiration
Q: Hey Brendan, I know you get this a lot but what was your inspiration for writing Nemesis, particularly on writing a story that deals with the finality of death.
A: At the most basic level, my inspiration for writing Nemesis was getting a chance to play with people’s ironclad certainty that death results in the immediate end of life. Not in a ghost story way, or supernatural way, but in a wait-a-minute, I’m-not-dead-but-I-should-be way. By bending those pretty straightforward rules I got to jerk my characters around in ways that aren’t usually possible. In Nemesis, Min and Noah are each brutally murdered five times by the same man in a black suit, and that’s before the story even begins. Exploring the idea that these deaths might somehow not even count is a driving force in the book. Min and Noah both know what's happening to them can’t be real, but they can’t deny their experiences either. So how is it happening? Why? Who's pulling the strings? These are the questions that drive Min and propel the story forward. Adding a planet-crippling asteroid and a deep, shadowy conspiracy to the mix was just a bonus. "I love fast-paced action and twisty surprises. I jammed so many of them into Nemesis it will be hard to catch your breath. You can’t trust anything, or anyone. It’s everything I love about thrillers. I hope you will too!
Brendan Reichs was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2000 and The George Washington University School of Law in 2006. After three long years working as a litigation attorney, he abandoned the trade to co-write the Virals series. He lives in Charlotte with his wife, Emily, daughter, Alice, and son, Henry. He plans to keep writing novels until they drag him from his desk.
GIVEAWAY!! (ahhh enter this one)
Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of Nemesis by Brendan Reichs (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 20, 2017 and 12:00 AM on April 3, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about April 5, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.