Review: Enmity by E.J. Andrews

Enmity by E.J. AndrewsLove vs Life.
Good vs Evil.
War vs Warfare.

Which would you choose?

After a solar flare wipes out most of the world’s inhabitants, it leaves behind nothing but a desolate earth and a desperate population. Existence is no longer a certainty. And with factions now fighting for the power to rule, people start to become reckless with their lives. The world has become a dangerous place.

Amongst the ensuing chaos, Nate and Hermia — two victims of the new world order — are taken against their will to The Compound. Joined by eight other teenagers all chosen for a specific reason, Nate and Hermia are forced to train as assassins to overthrow the current president and make way for a new leader of the free world. Here, they learn to plan, fight, and most importantly… to survive.

Except, despite the casual cruelty of their new existence, both Nate and Hermia — two very strong but very different people — begin to form fragile bonds within the group. But they soon realize their happiness is short lived…because their training is just the beginning.

A war awaits…regardless of how ready or willing they may be.

___

Review

Enmity is a story I’m not quite sure about yet. The prologue caught me up, the plot intrigued me, and the ending left me hanging for more, but I can’t decide if I care.

The prologue is pre-solar flare, told in first person by a character who does not appear later, and sets a great tone for the coming story. It was easy to read, the character was relatable, and you just know the inhabitants of the time are in for a horrible existence.

First person is one of my favourite view points for a story, especially something like Enmity, to be told in. However I do have some issues with first person. In first person it can be difficult to share more details of the story and then the reader is left out of the bigger picture. Another problem with first person is when someone dies, someone being the main character. If a protagonist dies when the story is told in first person, then how are they telling the story? At some point you have to realise they’re telling the story. How can they relate what happened when they’ve died?

For the majority of Enmity I was wondering about the protagonist in the prologue. Did she die? Did she live? How did she tell her part of the story if she died? What happened to her? My main problem with the prologue, apart from first-person perspective and death, is I was so drawn into her plight I would love to read a story based in pre-solar flare.

The main body of Enmity takes place sixty years later and is told from the view of two protagonists, Hermia and Nate. Sometimes I really dislike a story being told by more than one character, but thankfully this was not one of them. Hermia and Nate take turns, don’t overlap, and are distinguishable. Their separate stories entwine and compliment each other nicely, even when they form bonds with different social circles.

Only certain characters were memorable and fleshed out for me. Some were flat enough to me for me to be surprised when they were mentioned after a while. Characters like Lola and occasionally Georgie, even though she was mentioned more often than Lola, took me by surprise. It was almost as if they disappeared completely, the story had no problem moving on without them, and then they would appear at certain intervals.

There are characters I rather enjoyed, Hermia and Nate are the top two, but I found Rence and Chase interesting. I was also intrigued by the stories preceding the current predicament the teens found themselves in. I’m sure some of it is born from wondering what happened beforehand, but I think the introduction of parents and their machinations involved with the new world order was written in such a way to pique curiosity.

Personally I’m not sure if I’m interested in finding out what happens next. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t feel the characters had great emotional dimension and created enough thrall in my interest, or if it’s the story itself. I found myself being able to forget what was happening when I wasn’t reading, even though I read large chunks of the story at a time. It would take about two-three pages of reading before I could truly pick up where I’d left off. Except, I think the premise itself was curious and I find myself really wanting to know the story behind the story.

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