Author: Sophie Jordan
Genre: young adult, dystopia
Series: Uninvited #1
Published: expected January 28 2014
Source: publishers via edelweiss
The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.
When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.
Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.
The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.
The plot of the Scarlet Letter? Sure, I can buy that. Character-driven, ostracism and all that.
Minority Report? That is a little less reasonable, but whatever, I can embrace suspension of disbelief.
Uninvited? Somehow takes both those ideas and renders them really, really boring. Using really, really blah characters.
For three hundred eighty-four pages.
I looked like this after the first 15% aka when I realized Uninvited was not going to be awesome in the vein of my other favorite teenage killer stories like I Hunt Serial Killers/I Am Not A Serial Killer:
Technically, I have little to comment on. Jordan's writing is decent, nondescript, readable. But the content is just not there. The whole endeavor comes off as very a lackluster effort, as the characters definitely are. I know next to nothing about ANY of them (besides random facts stated by other characters, like: "Gil aced his ACTs!" or "Davy is really good at music." but she only plays an instrument ONCE in the entire novel.....). No one is a fully dimensional or realized person, not even the narrator. There's a very cold and clinical feel to Davy's narration.
I was bored reading this. I was promised serial killing teens, I was promised creepiness and suspense, but that is not what I got with Uninvited. The slow dehumanization of the carriers is interesting and has/had promise, but sadly is used as a sideplot to watching Davy's personal and love life derail. There's also no atmosphere to the story -- we are told horrible things are happening (not from Davy's first-person present tense POV because that's too focused on her own life) that these things are happening, but they are nearly ALL offscreen. It makes for ZERO suspense in the characters' stories.
There are also issues with the constructs Jordan has created for her world. The situation for carriers is deteriorating as the atrocities continue, and cities are "quarantined" and detention camps created to control the problem. However, it's stated that "they" (who knows who "they" are-- they army? The government? Dr. Wainwright?) cannot even control the camps. How then do they quarantine and control entire, MAJOR cities like Atlanta, Baltimore, Miami, St. Louis, Oakland, Dallas, Detroi, Phoenix among others? That does not make sense to me.
Uninvited boasts a premise that sounded really fun, a mix mix of two very disparate but interesting things. Unfortunately, for me this was a case of great premise but a dispiriting execution. Davy wasn't the type of character I like or relate to, her narration was hard to care about, the other characters are shallow enough to make a puddle look deep, the story can be nonsensical, and I hated the romance. Despite all of that, I can't fault Jordan for her ideas and some of what happens in Uninvited is creative and clever, so it's 2-stars and a "wait and see" for book two.