[515]: The Fearless by Emma Pass


GOODREADS SUMMARY | Delacorte Books for Young Readears | ARC paperback, 351 pp. | April 14th, 2015 | Young Adult Fiction | Post Apocalyptic ThrrRating : 3 out of 5 Stars

The Side Effects of the Cure

In an effort to aid war-weary soldiers afflicted with PTSD, ย scientists have developed a serum to curtail, and eliminate this psychological disorder. But like every other miracle drug that’s ever been invented, the cure brought on a different kind of disease. The soldiers lost their abilities to feel. They became stronger; they healed faster. They became harder to kill. When the serum was sold to the highest bidder, the drug was reinvented; ushering a new breed of soldiers who lost all sense of right and wrong. Everyone became their enemy. Like a rabid pack of zombies, they invaded countries and bludgeoned the population into submission.

Hope Island

A small pocket of survivors managed to have a semblance of life in Hope Island. They have their own government and security. They live on goods bartered or traded by salvagers from the mainland. But all that security crumbled when a boy snuck in one night under the pretence of getting help for his friend’s baby.

Cass’s brother, and the only family she has, was taken by Fearless. The trespasser claimed he could help her find him, if she could help him get back to the mainland. Cass didn’t have any choice, because once you leave Hope Island, you can never go back. And since no one would help her get her brother back, he’s the only ally she could turn to.

The Goods

This book is pretty much everything you would expect from a dystopian thriller. It has a frenetic beginning where you’ll witness the beginning of the end of civilization. Then it hurtles on its steady pace right through the end. The world building is almost non-existent. I think it’s one of those things when a reader already knows what they’re in for even before they crack the spine. It’s there on the cover, and in the synopsis. In other words, the author left everything to the reader’s imagination. She didn’t have to hold my hand, or tell me how I should feel. Because her characters were very affective – except for the romance bit (more on that later).

Cass, for the most part, was a character full of moxie. When the world ended, she witnessed her dad get killed by the Fearless. Her mother was pregnant at the time. Unable to handle losing her husband, and the state of the world as she knew it, Cass’ mother killed herself. Ever since then, she was left playing the mother to her younger brother. He was all that was left of her world. She was fierce and courageous.

The Not-So

The only thing that didn’t work for me here is the romance. It wasn’t a case of instant love, but more the relationship didn’t progress in a realistic fashion. There was no basis for the attraction, no foundation. I supposed there wasn’t a spark between them either.

I was under the impression that this was a stand alone. But after that ending, it would be cruel not to continue. There’s so much to look forward to after this book, and I, for one, am really hoping a companion is already in the works.

  • I am pretty impressed with this read. I have read a whole load of dystopians and I need something unique if it is going to make me like it now when it comes to this genre. But this seems like it has that, which makes me happy. I will have to look more into it.

  • This sounds like my cuppa Joy, I love me some post apocalyptic dystopian! It reminds me a little of a cross between The 5th Wave and The Darkest Minds, taking a mishmash of the storyline from both. I’m disappointed there isn’t any real world building, but hopefully there’s enough to let my imagination conjure up the rest. The romance aspect sounds like it really could have done without, but I think lack of connection and awkward nonsensical romance goes hand in hand with most YA these days sadly. Lovely review Joy, hopefully the author will at least follow up with a novella to tie up those lose ends <3

  • This is my first time hearing about it and now I’m really excited! I’ve always had a thing for post-apocalyptic thrillers. I can deal with crappy romance if it means some interesting plot. Great review, Joy, can’t wait to read this myself!

  • A lot of dystopians tend to pack on the action but leave the reader with shoddy world building and character development, so I’m quite wary of picking up books in this genre these days! Nevertheless, you made this one sound pretty awesome – glad you enjoyed!

  • I have to admit . . . I’m not much for dystopians these days (unless it’s Pierce Brown), but YOU made this one sound fantastic using words like “frenetic” and “moxie” and I am definitely putting this one on the list . . . though b/c of the cruel ending, I may wait until the next installment before starting ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I’ve seen this book around a lot, the title is very catchy – Sounds like the romance was a miss in this one, but that’s okay – I’m intrigued enough to look into since it sounds like a good dystopian/thriller:)

  • I would want more from the romance bit. I just read a book like that

    • I agree. But, there’s more to this book than the romance, thankfully. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I actually gave up on her first novel, ACID, because it just didn’t bring anything new to the table, but I’m more than willing to try again, and this sounds more up my alley. Minus the romance, of course.

    • I thought this was different from the usual post apocalyptic fares we’ve been reading, so I hope you’ll enjoy this one, Maja!

  • Why is romance such a requirement for young adult novels? When I was younger my parents discouraged me to have a boyfriend. And now based on these novels that target impressionable teens, it seems like that’s what they push for. Smh

    They should take it into context.
    Younglove is cute but if it doesn’t do anything for the story or even ruins it, they should just skip that part

    • I agree. And in troubling times where you don’t know where the Fearless would attack, I thought it was pretty odd to be thinking about love/crushes.

  • I could definitely see this book become a movie or something. That virus sounds super scary. Just imagine if something really did happen on Earth?? I don’t know what I would do. =/

    • It would be a great tv series/film in the right hands. Someone like say, Guillermo del Torro. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I liked this as well but didn’t love it and I think that mainly had to do with the romance as well. It just felt sort of forced and not natural at all. Plus, I really wanted more of the other bot, I know he has a great story and I liked that he was a bit unstable, I’m weird, I know but I think if they would have played more on that it would have added so much more to the story. I’m hoping book two is better.

    • Isn’t that funny? Somebody else commented on the romance being a bit of a let down. And I totally get you. Are you talking about Sol? Or Myo? I thought Myo was a very interesting character. His life as a foster child with his twin sister should make for a great back story!

  • I’m not sure if I want to read this book just yet, but I struggled with the romance in the author’s previous book too! Plus, I’m not sure if I’m into dystopias anymore although I admit the backstory sounds intriguing.
    Lovely review, Joy!

    • Hmmm. I wonder if romance is not really her thing? But just as well, this book was fantastic – with or without it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Gorgeous review Joy. <3 But aw, I'm sorry this book wasn't perfect. And ugh. The romance wasn't good? That is so sad ๐Ÿ™ I have seen a lot of people read this book. And I'm curious about it. But probably not reading it ๐Ÿ˜€ Though I'm glad you liked a lot of it. <3 Thank you for sharing about it sweetie ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh but I think you’ll like this one, C! I think the romance wouldn’t bother you in the least. Give it a go sometime!

  • Wow, this sounds intense! I have difficulty with romances like that too that just aren’t realistic. Great review! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • RO

    I haven’t read this author’s work, but it sort of reminds me of a movie I saw, (which I enjoyed) and for the life of me can’t remember the title. (lol) Maybe it would have worked better without the romance? Putting 2 people together just for the sake of the book, and with no chemistry, doesn’t sound like it worked out well. Great review. Hugs…Ro

    • This is my first Emma Pass. I wouldn’t mind reading her debut, Acid. And yes, I think it would’ve worked if the two main characters worked their way to friendship first. Hopefully, we’ll get less of the sappy and more of the kickassery on the next instalment. Thanks, Ro!

  • After Matched I am still avoiding Dystopian novels. I just can’t deal with the genre after that book. This does sound promising though. When I get the strength up to go back to the genre, I will consider this one. Great review Joy! :]

    • Matched was a one hit wonder for me. I couldn’t move past book 1. This one is different than that, though. This is more like an apocalyptic novel than dystopian.

  • Naomi @ Nomiโ€™s Paranormal Palace

    It is good to see that things were put out there for you to understand easily enough. Shame the romance was lacking.

    Naomi @ Nomiโ€™s Paranormal Palace

    • It really was. As far as the romance goes, it didn’t really bother me as much, but I thought I’d go ahead and put it out there. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • This does sound like an exciting premise, one that I’d like, and I can work with limited world building if the character development is really good and interesting. I’m disappointed that the romance wasn’t that great though. I wouldn’t want to dive into something that felt unfinished or needed more story by the end. I think I’ll wait for word of sequel or companion before I’d consider this. Wonderful review, Joy! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I didn’t mind it all either, Rachel. And I think I could’ve gone without the romance, but over all, I think it’s a fantastic apocalyptic thriller. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sorry to see that the romance wasn’t that good there. I heard a lot of the books but the reviews are all quite mixed so I didn’t ask for it. I was waiting for yours but I don’t know… not sure.

    • It’s a good thing there’s a lot to love in this book!