I love dystopian young adult books. In fact, as cliché as this may seem, The Hunger Games enticed me back into regularly reading. So when I saw the blurb for The Sowing I HAD to read it. It looked like a really interesting world. Although there are tons of dystopian novels out there and the idea of food rationing isn’t new, I found that The Sowing was able to discover its own niche within the genre.
I have to say this outright. I’m not a huge fan of alternating POV’s. In the beginning of The Sowing, I struggled with the switch between Remy and Vale’s POV’s because I didn’t feel there was a distinctive difference in voice. However, as the novel progressed I found the transition between characters to be smoother and I felt as though two distinct individual were speaking to me.
One thing that really stood out in this novel, and I wish that more YA novels would adapt, was diversity among the characters. There were varying backgrounds and races which I think speaks volumes of the authors. Speaking of the characters, I really thought they were a strong point of The Sowing. I enjoyed both Remy and Vale’s personalities and I thought they both brought something valuable to the book. There was obvious animosity between Vale and Remy given that she left the Sector and Vale stayed behind. However, I will say that the lines between friend and enemy are seriously blurred. It was interesting to see both sides of the coin and realize that both Remy and Vale were fighting for what they believed to be right. Additionally, it was intriguing to see each characters beliefs and preconceptions be challenged and in some cases swayed. It showed that Remy and Vale both have the ability to grow exponentially in the forthcoming novels. In addition to Remy and Vale the rest of the major (and even minor) players are unforgettable. I especially loved Eli and Miah. They were quite entertaining.
Now, I took hard sciences in school and I really just skated by. I was a little nervous when some pretty heavy science entered the book. However, I thought it was handled brilliantly. Rather than throw a whole bunch of facts at the reader, Makansi engaged and taught the science aspects rather than skating over them. I appreciated this because a) it’s annoying when an author assumes that a reader isn’t interested or dare I say, smart enough to comprehend what’s going on and b) just completely avoids doing the research necessary to make the science seem believable.
I thought the world building was really thorough but it did make for some dragging sections throughout the book. There was definitely enough action and dialogue throughout to keep me engaged and once I got through the first few chapters I really powered through. I think overall the pacing could have been a little bit better but it didn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth.
The mystery behind the death of Remy’s sister and her classmates/professor kept me intrigued and I was desperate to know who was and was not involved. I like a good tale of lies, deceit, and corruption.
As for the romance, there is some, but it doesn’t overshadow the plot but it adds tension to the plot. There is an obvious and almost palpable connection between Vale and Remy but there’s also a lot of animosity.
Overall, I enjoyed The Sowing. I found it engaging and the characters powerful. I will definitely read the next in the series. Again, my only complaints were with the alternating POV’s for the first few chapters and the pacing being a little off. I would recommend this book to YA dystopian/sci-fi readers.
Tour wide Giveaway (Open Internationally):
–25$ Amazon Gift Card
–Signed copy of The Sowing
K. Makansi is the pen name for the writing triumvirate consisting of Amira, Elena, and Kristina Makansi. Two sisters and their mother, the three women developed a passionate interest in science fiction as a way to write about issues of food sovereignty and food justice. Elena is pursuing a degree in environmental studies at Oberlin College in Ohio, and will graduate in May of 2014. Amira was a history student at the University of Chicago whose day job working in the cellar of a winery (and constantly being splattered with wine) keeps her busy when she’s not writing. And Kristy owns and operates Blank Slate Press, an independent publishing company based out of St. Louis, and is a partner at Treehouse Publishing Group, a company providing editorial and design services to aspiring authors. When not writing or reading, the three can be found having animated discussions around the dinner table, sharing a good bottle of wine, or taking long walks in the park eagerly plotting out their next book.