Monday, May 11, 2020

The Selection by Jayne Faith

DNF @ 34%

I pushed farther than I normally do in books like these because I quite enjoyed the author's other work, STONE COLD MAGIC. There's nothing really objectively wrong with THE SELECTION, which is why I'm giving it two stars-- the writing is of decent quality and I could probably force myself to finish it if I wanted to, but I don't want to because it feels a little too derivative for me.

If you saw the title, THE SELECTION, and wondered if it was like that other book-- then yes, dear reader, you would be right. THE SELECTION is like THE (other) SELECTION with a liberal dash of THE HUNGER GAMES. Maya lives on Earthenfell which is Earth as ruled over by alien colonizers from Calisto. Every year, boy and girl "Obligates" (read: tributes) are taken for the alien overlords. The girl Obligates fight to the death for a chance to join Lord Torric's harem, and the boy Obligates serve.

I did actually like the beginning of the book which establishes Maya as a scrappy compassionate heroine who gathers fruit for her blind sister to fulfill her quota while also contemplating poisoning the jerk fiance she discovers cheating (and she doesn't even slut-shame the other women, which is so rare in books like these, I couldn't help but approve).

My problem with this book-- and what kept me from finishing-- is the overwhelming Hunger Gamesiness of the story and the fact that Torric's POV is that classic sleazy alpha male style of narration that I just can't stand. The moment he lays eyes on Maya, he's already fascinating about her resemblance to an angel and demanding that the courtesan of his that resembles Maya most be brought to him in anticipation of having her. Ugh! So he's basically the same as her sleazy fiance who was sleeping with others to keep Maya "pure," but because he's alpha, we should like it? NOPE.

I'd recommend reading STONE COLD MAGIC instead if you're curious about this author.

1.5 out of 5 stars

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