Title: Rise of the Chosen (Lifeblood #1)
Author: Anna Kopp
Publisher: Blue Moon, 2016
Genre: YA Science Fiction
**I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
I actually received this book from Digiwriting as I am auto-approved. They sent me an email letting me know that they thought these books would be perfect for me, so when I went on NetGalley, they were already on my shelf. I had 4 books, and needed to get some read ASAP. Especially since there is a badge right now (available until the 12th) that you can earn once feedback is posted. So I picked this title, knowing that it was the shortest and the soonest to be released.
I am glad I did.
Now, I’m not going to say this is the best book ever in the world. It had a very fast pace and I was unable to get too attached to our protagonist, Sam, because there wasn’t a lot of insight into her mind. However, IT SUCKED ME IN BAD. I was actually disappointed that it was so short (210 pages or so). I wanted more immediately once the book was done, and I am glad that there is a plan for another one, because it ended on quite the cliffhanger. So let me tell you a little about Rise of the Chosen, ok?
Sam is a member of the Watch, an elite group tasked with a challenge: watch out for the dead…because they don’t stay that way. In the current world Sam lives in, once a person dies, they either become a Woken or a Chosen. The Woken are like zombies: they awake hungry for violence and seek out to kill anything in its path. (No eating brains) The Chosen are rare, about one in a thousand, and they fight the urge to give in to the death. They are strong in mind, and strong in heart. They awake completely stronger than any human and become members of the Watch to protect humans from those that would die and become Woken.
Sam is about to graduate, but one morning she wakes up to a loud crash, and she finds a Woken killing her mother. Her father, a previous member of the Watch, was killed on duty, so Sam tries to kill the Woken and noticed that the tracker that goes off in every person when they die did not go off for the Woken in her home. Nobody is there to help Sam until it is too late for her mom, but fortunately hear the ruckus and save her.
The general sees promise in young Sam, and puts her with the advanced team that saved her life. The Chosen that heads the group, David, thinks this is a bad idea, as she is young and just out of training. The things Sam sees and experiences start to make her question the very makeup of her society. When a kidnapping takes her and David hostage, the life she knew will be turned upside down…and surprises are in store for her. Will Sam risk her own life to save the lives…and possibly the future of the human race? Will she make the ultimate sacrifice?
Is it Classroom-Appropriate?
I believe so. The only thing that might be considered questionable is Sam’s sexuality. She dates Kyle in the beginning, but then falls for Lena, a waitress at a local bar. Some people that are conservative might not like the idea of a bisexual hero. However, in this day and age, it seems like it could be accepted into classroom curriculum now. I would use it as a fun book in high school because it is a quick read, but I might not use it in a lesson. It’s something I might allow as a book for a paper about dystopian worlds, because this story is set in a world where a militarized government takes control and forces the people to have tracking devices. Mostly, though, I see it as a recommended read for outside the classroom.
Since it hasn’t been published yet, I cannot find a Lexile profile on it. I would suggest ages 13 and up. No sex really, just the hint at intimacy. Some light swearing (s*** is the only word I found). I haven’t read the rest of the series, but this book alone doesn’t seem too mature for teens.
★★★★☆. I want to give it five but I would have liked to be more drawn in to Sam’s character. I got to know David’s character a little more, and he is an auxiliary main character, but the story is told from an omnipresent view so I’d like to believe there was more opportunity to expand on their personalities. But as it stands, it is a quick and enjoyable read with a clever plot, and I want more. So I’m ready for book two. I’m waiting…starting now.