“Alive” is a Wonderfully Enigmatic Sci-Fi Thriller
Author: Scott Sigler
Release Date: July 14, 2015
Series: The Generations Trilogy #1
Publisher: Del Rey
Genre(s): Science Fiction
I need to be careful in how I approach this review.
Alive is one of those books that it’s really better for the reader that they know as little as possible going in so that they can get the most out of the story. That makes it hard to really write a very thorough review but this is one of those books where, again, I think that’s okay. Because it’s for the best. Now, I’m not avoiding spoilers because Scott Sigler has asked people not to spoil things for other people.
No, I’m avoiding spoilers here for you. I’m avoiding spoilers because I really do think you should read it and when you do I want you to experience all the twists and turns the way I did. The mysteries behind this series is really the best part of reading Alive.
You are thrown into this world where you’re just as aware of what’s going on as the characters. You have no special knowledge. The book is primarily about a group of young people thrown into the unknown who try and figure out what’s going on. When M. Savage – our main character – wakes up in her strange ‘coffin’ surrounded by other equally confused, lost young people she has no idea what’s going on. And neither do we.
The book is defined by the unknown. If you knew the answers that were going to come in the end it really wouldn’t be the same book.
So what can I tell you about the book?
It never gets boring.
Alive is one of those books where things are constantly happening. Because the characters know so little about themselves, their surroundings, and their circumstances there is always something new being discovered. Whether it’s something about the kids themselves or something about the strange world around them, it’s always something. They are constantly being faced with new challenges – and even some new horrors – as they explore their world and try and make sense of what has happened to them.
You’ll really start to care about the characters pretty early on, too.
They didn’t ask for what has happened to them and they don’t know what to do about it. They’re blank slates and in being such a lot of interesting conflicts arise within the group. Even though you don’t know much about them they develop their own personalities and interests. There are plenty of reasons to care – and plenty of reasons to start worrying about them, too, as the book progresses.
The book blends science fiction, horror, and dystopian fiction very well. It embraces the parts of each genre that work best together and imagines this whole new environment. It also bridges the gap between young adult fiction and adult fiction in a way that not every book can. The characters are young, yes, but the book can still appeal to readers of all ages.
That’s about as much as I’m willing to tell you all.
My review of the second book – which comes out later this year – will be more in-depth and critical, I promise. For now, take this review as a shining endorsement for the first in what is going to be a very intriguing series. Just make sure you read it by April so you’re ready for Alight!