Review: Icons by Margaret Stohl

Icons coverIcons by Margaret Stohl
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon
Release Date: May 7th 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Series: Icons #1

Goodreads description:Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol’s family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn’t know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside — safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can’t avoid.

She’s different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador’s privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn’t a coincidence. It’s a conspiracy.

Within the Icon’s reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions — which they’ve always thought to be their greatest weaknesses — may actually be their greatest strengths.

There’s so much about Icons that I wanted to love. The concept is really interesting and aliens are always a plus. Unfortunately, the book felt disconnected and slightly messy to me.

Icons is set in the future and aliens are in charge. They came on 6/6 or “The Day” and dropped Icons into thirteen major cities which killed most of the residents. These cities are now known as Silent Cities. The aliens, known as the House of Lords, are mysterious. Nobody has seen them or knows much about them. They use the Icons to control the earth with electric pulses. Most of the human population lives in a concentrated area surrounding  mega-cities or in the country.

Doloria, also called Dol, was found by Padre in the ruins, a lone survivor in a silent city. Ro, her best friend, was found soon after. For some reason, the alien pulse that killed everyone else didn’t kill them. They both have strange dots on their wrists and strange abilities. Dol knows that she is different, she knows that she can feel things and there’s a reason why she’s still alive when so many aren’t. She knows she’s a Weeper and she can feel what others feel and read their minds. What she doesn’t know is why.

On her 17th birthday, Padre gives her a book. However, as with all stories, when one important thing happens, there’s a domino effect and this is when guards known as Sympas show up. They take Dol and Ro to former LA, now called “the Hole.” Along the way they meet Fortis, a merck/shady guy and Lucas, another dotted survivor who also happens to be the Ambassador’s son. The Ambassador is connected to the House of Lords.. They arrive at ambassador HQ and meet a scarily demented military official that is probably evil and wants to kill them all. There’s also Timora, the final dotted one and Icon Child. 

Our dotted friends have abilities that make them insusceptible to the alien technology. Dol is a Weeper, Ro is a Rager,Ti is a Freak, and  Lucas is a Lover. They all have powerful abilities. The Ambassador has been looking for them, there’s anti-Embassy propaganda about them, and the Rebellion believes they might be the answer to taking back Earth.

One thing that really bothered me was the timeline. I had no idea how much time passed in this book. I felt like Dol left and got to the Embassy then they were leaving and I never realized a day had passed. I didn’t really buy into any of the connections in the book, romantic or friendship. Dol and Ro grew up together, so it made sense that they were friends. The same goes with Ti and Lucas. At first Ti hates the new kids, but Lucas and Dol are drawn to each other. Dol doesn’t like Ti, but later, for no real reason, Dol and Ti are friends. They want the same things, but there wasn’t anything that helped them bond. The romance felt empty to me and in my opinion, there were more reasons against it than for it.

The girl examines me, up and down. “Start with her criminal record, Orwell. I’m guessing it’s lengthy.”
“I’ll start now.”
“Ti-mo-ra? I see why you’re so sensitive about names.” I shrug. I can’t resist
-Harsh burns between Icon girls.

There is so much going on in this book, but it kind of felt like nothing actually happened. It felt like a lot of setup. I didn’t love any of the characters, but I probably liked Ro the most. Out of everyone, he seemed the most honest. I wasn’t inspired by the resistance. I was interested in the Icon Children’s actual abilities and the aliens, but there wasn’t much information about either of those things. I understand the (silly) need to withhold details so you can spring them at readers later on in the series, but there wasn’t enough in book one to make me care about finding out later. I wouldn’t say this book was a complete waste of time, but I wouldn’t recommend it and I don’t plan on reading the rest of the series.

two star rating

Check out Margaret Stohl’s website and twitter!

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