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Girl with Golden Eyes ( I Am Alive book 2 Episode #1 ) ( Increscent )

in·cres·cent (n-krsnt): [Latin incrscns, incrscent-, present participle of incrscere, to increase; see increase.] especially the moon. An Increscent Moon.

Decca made up her mind. Did she choose to become a Ten or stay a Monster? Leo has a lot of explaining to do; was the attraction real? Woo has grown to be someone else entirely with a lot of secrets about Faya, himself, and Decca. Why was Decca special, and why did he help her in the first place?

A year later after the Monster Show, the three of them face a new unexpected danger, consequences that are greater than they would have ever imagined. Decca finds herself struggling with a new choice.

This time, staying alive is not enough. You have to BE alive.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

Read from November 18 to 20, 2012

First of all, a HUGE thank-you to Cameron Jace for giving me a free copy of this book for review! =D

Note: Contains minor spoilers for the first book in this series, I AM ALIVE.
This serial finds Decca one year after surviving the Monster Show, her hands cuffed behind her back to a chair, and Leo about to kill her. Talk about getting your attention, right? But after seeing Decca’s current predicament, we go on a journey to learn how she got there.I enjoyed this book (or at least this part of it) more than I did the first one, I AM ALIVE. Though there were still a few typos and minor thematic inconsistencies (a character being a Six in one scene and a Five later, a video being mentioned before the characters were supposed to know what it was, etc.). The pacing was excellent and I am looking forward to the rest of this serial novel!

The plot:
I was wondering how the writer was going to pull it off, having a year-long gap in the timeline between the two books since I AM ALIVE ends with a pretty hefty cliffhanger. But it made perfect sense and there was never a dull moment! It most certainly did not lack THE HUNGER GAMES-like feeling of intense, imminent danger. (Is that normal in dystopias? I haven’t read a whole lot.) But I did take issue with some of the world-building elements. For example, I don’t think (based on observation of contemporary society) that gays would be downgraded in this futuristic society, but that’s just my opinion. *shrug*

The characters:
It was interesting to see how Decca had changed since becoming a monster. She’s struggling with finding her place in a world where she is both a revered celebrity and a slave to the entertainment of the masses. She pines after Woo, who is acting strangely distant, and tries to keep Leo, who is acting strangely not-distant, at an arm’s length. I’m fairly sure my allegiance lies with Team Leo, but there IS the whole thing about him with a rifle about the blow off Decca’s head at the beginning, so we’ll just have to see what happens when the next serial comes to Amazon.

We didn’t really get to meet Woo in I AM ALIVE. He was present in Decca’s retrospective inner musings and was the reason she voluntarily went into the Monster Show to start with, but we didn’t really get to meet him. Here, we are properly introduced to this mysterious character who is described as “Peter Pan.” Though he’s still a teenager, he has the aura of a hardened general about him and I often shared Decca’s frustration when he refused to give her an explanation as to why he, Xitler, and the elusive Breakfast Club think she’s so special.

Leo has really changed since I AM ALIVE. He’s more affable and less Rambo-esque, and keeps after Decca with an unwavering persistence. It is a complete mystery as to how he ended up with the aforementioned rifle, about to kill the girl he apparently loves, but again, I guess that just means I’ve got to get that next serial when it comes out…

I LOVE PEPPER! In this one, she was less sarcastic and pessimistic and more the unwavering optimist. There’s a new, sad development in her romance with Woodsy, but for some reason, I wasn’t overly saddened by it. I’m not sure why. Still, I am sorry for the way things turned out. 😦

Bellona is hilarious. Know how most girls are glued to their phones? Well, she’s glued to her machine gun. She’s become very resentful of Decca over the past year, and Pepper’s little quips about Bellona and her beloved martial accessory might’ve been what endeared the latter to me, but ether way, I really like her, too.

And I like Vern. He’s cute in a video-game addicted little-boy way. =)

Dang, that was a long review! Not sure where all those thoughts came from. Anyway, I recommend this book and his series to fans of dystopias with strong female protagonists, lots of mysteries and l do plan on looking for the next installment in this series.