Author: Jessica Hickam
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Lily Atwood lives in what used to be called Washington, D.C. Her father is one of the most powerful men in the world, having been a vital part of rebuilding and reuniting humanity after the war that killed over five billion people. Now he’s running to be one of its leaders.
But in the rediscovered peace on Earth, a new enemy has risen. They call themselves the Revealed – a powerful underground organization that has been kidnapping 18 year olds across the globe without reservation. No one knows why they are kidnapping these teens, but it’s clear something is different about these people. They can set fires with a snap of their fingers and create a wind strong enough to barrel over a tree with a flick of their wrist. No one has been able to stop them, and they have targeted Lily as their next victim.
But Lily has waited too long to break free from her father’s shadow to let some rebel organization just ruin everything. Not without a fight.
Dystopian YA fiction is nothing new. In fact, we’ve long past reached that point where dystopian YA is exciting or relevant, yet we still continue to see it on the market and yes, we still continue to read it. I’ll admit, I do appreciate a good dystopian novel every once and a while. Post-apocalyptic worlds are sometimes still exciting to read about, but to hold it’s own in a market packed to the brim with dystopian tales, a story has to be absolutely stellar. The Revealed, I’m sorry to say, was not stellar. But I’ll balance that with the fact that this was not a bad story. It just wasn’t great either.
Lily, as a protagonist, is contradictory, boring, and really, just another lovesick selfish teen. Her quote-unquote relationship with Kai is essentially all in her mind. Lily herself points out that she can’t see why the girls are always falling over Kai, and all it takes is a passing apology, a brush of the fingers, and some smooth talking and Lily is done for. All we hear for the rest of the story is how much she misses Kai.
Lily’s parents are painted as the stereotypical political, work-obsessed parents who, prior to the time of this novel, did a one-eighty from loving, protective parents, to aloof business people who forget how to take care of their child. They’re portrayed as shells of their former selves which I found to be a little on the extreme side. They treat their eighteen year old daughter like a child rather than the adult she is, and that’s just not something I can understand. Lily doesn’t really give them reason to think of her any differently though. She’s unnecessarily reckless and disobedient, acting more like an uncontrollable pre-teen than the adult that she basically is.
The concept of The Revealed is very cool, despite the novel’s shortcomings. Scientific/medical developments allowing humanity to tap into a part of the brain and unleash humanities potential through precise surgery? Very cool. Hackam needs to delve further into the world of the Revealed to show us what they can do, what they are capable of, and how they’re going to change their world for the better. The abilities that make them superhuman, breathed life into this novel and gives the story a unique edge over the other dystopian novels out there.
I don’t know if I’m keen on continuing with this series, but I will say that it had its highlights. It’s a quick and easy read, but don’t expect a lot in the way of character development. The romance falls flat and the relationships are unfulfilling.