2 Stars · 2015 · About Me · Book Reviews · Young Adult

The Prey – Tom Isbell




A hot debut trilogy and a riveting story of survival, courage, and romance in a future where creating a master civilization is the only thing prized, no matter the method. After the Omega (the end of the end), 16 year old guys known as LTs discover their overseers are raising them not to be soldiers (lieutenants) as promised, but to be sold as bait because of their Less Than status and hunted for sport. They escape and join forces with a girls’ camp, the Sisters, who have been imprisoned and experimented on for the “good of the Republic,” by a government eager to use twins in their dark research. In their plight for freedom, these heroes must find the best in themselves to fight against the worst in their enemies.


I wanted to like this book so much. I love a good YA dystopian novel. But I just couldn’t get into this book. There wasn’t enough background to make the story really come to life. I would have loved to learn about why the camps are there, how the territories are split up, why they are split up that way, and more about Hope’s father involment with the experiments. I also want to know how other animal were effected by the radiation. Wolves got crazy smart, but what about the other woodland creatures? Just to name a few things.

I also noticed that the author uses sweat quite a few times. It seemed like every other scene sweat was either pooling under someones armpits, streaming down someones face, or running down someones side. Maybe it wasn’t as bad I felt, but sweat was mentioned enough for me to notice at least.

The story changes narrators and tense, sometimes mid-chapter. There were a few times that it wasn’t clear who was telling the story for a few paragraphs. There was also a lot more telling vs showing.

The characters also seemed flat, and pretty one dimensional. There was little to no character growth either. Most of the runaways aren’t mentioned until they die.

Then we can top it off with a crazy insta-love that bordered on obsession. I kind of understand that here is this boy who hasn’t met any girls his age before, so he instantly falls for Hope. But just seemed a little much.

Some quotes from the book that made me cringe:

“no one didn’t obey an order from Major Karsten.”
That’s right! NO ONE!

“Blood. Purpling. Coagulating before his eyes.”
Because blood purples now.

“other vehicles had arrived, disgorging brown-shirted soldiers”
I just picture a vehicle getting sick and upchucking soldiers.

“Major Karsten looked right at us, his anvil-shaped face skeletal in appearance.”
This poor, poor, crazy faced man

“his most striking feature is the soiled hanky he grips in his hand”
Because why give him and actual features.

I don’t want to give away a bunch spoilers but that ending made me angry…

I loved the idea for this book a lot more than I liked the way it was told. Overall, I was disappointed and I am not sure I am going to be reading the second book when it comes out.

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