*I received this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Author: Illima Todd
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Publication Date: October 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Nine is the ninth female born in her batch of ten females and ten males. By design, her life in Freedom Province is without complications or consequences. However, such freedom comes with a price. The Prime Maker is determined to keep that price a secret from the new batches of citizens that are born, nurtured, and raised androgynously.
But Nine isn’t like every other batcher. She harbors indecision and worries about her upcoming Remake Day — her seventeenth birthday, the age when batchers fly to the Remake facility and have the freedom to choose who and what they’ll be.
When Nine discovers the truth about life outside of Freedom Province, including the secret plan of the Prime Maker, she is pulled between two worlds and two lives. Her decisions will test her courage, her heart, and her beliefs. Who can she trust? Who does she love? And most importantly, who will she decide to be?
The best way for me to describe Remake is Uglies meets The Giver, two of my favourite YA stories. With no intense cliff hanger at the end, Remake can easily stand along as it’s own novel, but the ending leaves you craving more. This novel serves to set up relationships and storylines. It’s an introduction into the state of Freedom One and the world that exist beyond. It provides a peek into the horrific treatment of rebels and non-Freedom citizens. In a genre saturated with dystopian novels, it’s rare to find a story that takes it’s time with intense characterization of it’s protagonist before jumping into the dystopian world, and I really appreciated this breath of fresh air. My hope is that books 2 and 3 really show us the cruelty and inhumanity of the Makers, those creating the monthly batches of children.
The world of Freedom One raises androgynous children, devoid of hormones until the age of seventeen when they get to choose their name, their gender, and their life trade. Nine has always been different with her red hair and her freckly skin, but she craves the day of her Remaking when she can change herself to be like everybody else. Throughout the course of the novel, Nine learns to take charge of her life. She learns that her life has been full of forced passivity and lies to keep the Batches placated. Nine grows as a woman, gaining knowledge and confidence enough to stand up for herself and to fight back. I’m excited to see how she’ll continue to grow and change as the series progresses.
This novel doesn’t have much action, which is why I rated it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. The novel is really a teenage romance with a lot of character development. I would have loved to see more intensity from Freedom One, but the action barely picks up and there’s no heart-stopping moments. But the romance is cute and it’s really nice to watch Nine blossom into a woman as she learns the way of society, love, and family outside of Freedom One. The world building is really well done. Todd creates a vivid image of the dystopian world, how it functions, and how the outside world functions in a drastically different matter. We get hints of how the world came to be as it is now, but I hope that future books delve into that even further.
Overall, it was nice to return to a genre that I’ve always enjoyed and I was most definitely not disappointed.