Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Wicked We Have Done

There’s a controversial new technology that will determine whether criminals should live or die. On trial for acts of terrorism, Evalyn chooses the Compass Room, convinced she will meet her end within the confines of the prison.

I know I don’t usually like comparisons, but parts of it did remind me of The Hunger Games, others made me think of Criminal Minds and there was a constant reminder of Cabin in the Woods in the back of my head, which is a poke at horror clich├ęs anyway. Add to that a new adult vibe, and you might get an idea of what The Wicked We Have Done is like.

At first, the description of the characters as deviant criminals didn’t fit with how they were portrayed, maybe with a couple of exceptions. As the story unfolds, this makes more sense. How often does a crime have complex motives? Is a person evil because of one bad thing? The Compass Rooms were designed to discover if the accused were lost causes. It’s described as a prison, but it’s more of a trial and, if found guilty, executioner.

What is hard to stomach is how people who are victims themselves are treated. Maybe they do deserve some punishment, but making them relive what drove them to the point of murder, seems cruel and unusual torture. In the case of the guilty, it proves they are beyond redemption and that’s that but to those who are more borderline cases, the trial is punishment enough.

It’s a short book, with quite a few characters, which meant it really only touched the surface of some quite interesting issues. I didn’t quite get emotionally invested with the characters, feeling they had potential, but were a bit on the two-dimensional side. Their crimes were glossed over a bit, considering they were quite important to the rest of the plot. Evalyn’s flashbacks could have been skipped altogether for all the understanding they contributed. I still don’t get how you go from not liking your best friend’s boyfriend to becoming involved in a terrorist plot, and what was the point of their terrorism anyway?

Many of the horror aspects were over a bit quickly, although there was one point where I did get a bit creeped out. Maybe it was the accumulation, or maybe just girls with bleeding eyes are just plain scary.

I’m starting to think I should cut some stars in half, then I could give it 3.5. It’s great to see some new adult branching out into different genres and not following the standard, sexy contemporary stories. And it was a page turning read. I just wanted a bit more depth from it. Definitely worth a read for existing new adult fans and those a bit wary of this “new” category.

The Wicked We Have Done is an ebook only release from Headline and will be available from 18th March 2014. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.

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