Review: Icons by Margaret Stohl

Posted 4 September, 2013 by Pushy in Blog, Featured, Heather, Heather Book Review, Pushy, Pushy Book Review / 9 Comments

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Icons by Margaret StohlIcons by Margaret Stohl
Series: Icons #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on May 7th 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 428
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
4.5 Stars

Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.

She's different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.

Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions -- which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses -- may actually be their greatest strengths.

Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts -- in order to save the future.

Heather: I loved the Beautiful Creatures series, so I was very excited to see what the authors would write on their own. Margaret Stohl has delivered a beautifully written dystopian with fantastic world building and interesting characters.

Pushy:  So true!  After reading her first series I was intrigued to see where she would go next.  When I found it was a dystopian, sci-fi novel, I was SOOO in!

Heather: Dol and Ro survived the alien invasion that happened sixteen years ago, the one that wiped out their parents and more than one billion people on earth. They aren’t sure why, as babies, they survived, but they’ve grown up in the Grasslands living at a Mission and leading a simple life. There’s no electricity, food has to be grown and livestock tended, and contact with the people in the cities is limited. They’re Grass, it’s what they do.

The aliens keep control of the citizens of earth through the thirteen Icons–large metal structures that can be activated that can instantly strike any human dead within so much of a radius. It’s how they took over the world, and it’s the threat they hold over everyone, using Ambassadors and Sympas-police, essentially–to maintain order and build secret structures that the Lords have ordered to be completed.

The Sympas come to the Mission for Dol, intending to take her back with them to Embassy. While on the train with an angry Ro circling outside, Dol meets merchant Fortis, who conveniently offers to cause a distraction so she can get away–for a price. But the explosion and resulting fight Fortis starts only gets Ro and Dol so far away before the Ambassador’s son Lucas catches up with them…

Dol, Ro, Lucas, and Tima are different from most people, but why are they different, and why do the Lords want them closely watched? As a rebellion starts to form, can they help or will they stand down?

Icons was a bit slow in the middle once Dol, Ro, and Lucas reach the Embassy island. The shining bright spot in this book for me were secondary characters Fortis, the merchant who breaks Dol out of the train in the beginning and turns out to be so much more, and Doc, the computer that is linked to Lucas and the Ambassador system. I also liked the informational leaflets, reports, and snippets of autopsy reports that capped off the chapters, slowly revealing more back story and information I’d never find out any other way if Doc wasn’t reading the reports because Dol (who narrates the story) wasn’t around for the events).

Pushy:  I couldn’t agree more about the secondary characters!  Beyond the fact that they stole scene after scene (I loved Fortis too, but I also still have the Padre close to my heart!) there’s so much about them that is hinted at but left obscured, waiting for the next book.  This book scratches the surface of this story, leaving the reader intrigued but leaving so much more to wonder about.

Heather: Overall, I really want to know more about the Lords and what really happened sixteen years ago during the invasion. The Lords aren’t really present and are hiding behind the human Ambassadors, so I hope they actually make an appearance in the next book. The world building was extensive, descriptive, and creative, but the story was bogged down in the middle until the end third where the action really kicked into gear.


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Lover of words and authors; absolute fan girl of books! Give me a good story, with characters I can love (and hate) and I'll follow you anywhere. Sing me a song of worlds I can dream of, and I'll listen forever.

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9 Responses to “Review: Icons by Margaret Stohl”

  1. Margaret Stohl really didn’t impress me with Beautiful; Creatures. But this . . . now this has me hoping so hard that it won’t disappoint. The idea of the aliens, and I’m interested to know what happens.

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    Heather 9/4/2013

    I’m really interested to see what happens with the Lords in the next book. I can’t wait!

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  2. I seriously can’t wait for the next one in this series — highly enjoyable, fast-paced (mostly) with great characters. What more can you ask for?

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    Heather 9/4/2013

    Exactly, Mary! We listened to the audiobook, and I think that I enjoyed this book that much more because of it. I really love the narrator, and she did a great job of bringing the characters to life. I’m really excited for the second book, and I hope that it doesn’t sag in the middle like this one did.

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  3. Mitch Kelly

    Great review! Can’t wait for the next book to come out.

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    Heather 9/4/2013

    I can’t wait for the second installment in the series either, Mitch! I really loved the audiobook version, so I think I’ll probably listen to book two as well.

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  4. I so wanted to read this as I loved the BC series, but then it got mixed reviews and I hesitated. Your review has me excited again. I really do want to read this!

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    Heather 9/4/2013

    I saw all of the mixed reviews after I’d listened to this book. Don’t let the reviews scare you away, and don’t expect another book like Beautiful Creatures. Just give it a fair shot, and hopefully you’ll enjoy Icons as much as we did, Heidi!

    Reply »

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