Alive by Scott Sigler
Release date: July 14, 2015
Courtesy of NetGalley
My breath catches.
I don’t know my own name.
I thrash and pull, yank desperately at the unforgiving bars holding me down.
“Someone, help me!”
No one answers.
I scream so hard it tears at my throat. Someone had to hear that. Someone has to come get me, come help me.
I lift my head- my forehead clonks against something solid and unmoving. That’s why my voice sounded funny: there is a board right in front of my face.
No, not a board…a lid.
I am in…
…oh no, oh no…
…am I in a coffin?
I’ve been sitting here for a few minutes now trying to figure out how to describe this novel in a way that encompasses all of its uniqueness and awesomeness, and I am failing. This book is different from anything you’ve ever read before. Yes, there are parallels between Alive and The Maze Runner. And yes, the story follows a group of young people, just like practically every young adult novel ever written. However, Alive is the darkest young adult novel I’ve ever read; there are seriously creepy moments throughout the entire book. Despite the fact that for a majority of the novel, a direct threat was never present, neither the protagonist nor the readers ever feel like they are entirely safe. The novel is jarring, and disturbing sights are hidden around every corner.
An interesting aspect of this novel is the fact that the protagonist and the reader become connected in that neither of them completely understands what is happening around them. In the beginning, the protagonist knows nothing about herself or where she is, and she slowly begins to find out more and more as the story progresses. We join her in her journey. We know only what she knows, and so the entire picture becomes more clear for both reader and character as the story goes on.
I love the diversity in this novel, and I love the conflict that exists between the characters. This conflict, however, is not a result of differences in skin color or gender or anything of the sort. Instead, it is a conflict of leadership. A conflict that arises because the characters must figure out how to keep their group alive. This adds to the novel because, not only do the characters have to fear what/whoever put them in this mysterious place and took away their memories, they also have to fear each other. There is a constant tension and sense of mistrust between them that makes the reader almost feel as if no one can be trusted. Aside from the external conflict between the characters, the protagonist also has internal conflict that she has to come to terms with as well. Despite all of this, it is clear to the reader that there are potential romances building, although it seems as if that is not yet apparent to the characters themselves.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Alive, and I cannot wait to read the next book in this series. If you’re looking for something different, or for a novel that combines elements of science fiction and mystery, this book is for you.