Review: Rise - Anna Carey
Rise by Anna Carey
Series: Eve Trilogy #3
Genre: YA, dystopian, romance
Published on April 2, 2013
Published by HarperCollins
Read From: 6.17.13 - 6.20.13
How far would you go when you have nothing left to lose? When she lost her soul mate, Caleb, Eve felt like her world had ended. Trapped in the palace, forced to play the part of the happy, patriotic princess of The New America - and the blushing bride of her father's top adviser - Eve's whole life is a life. The only thing that keeps her going is Caleb's memory and the revolution he started.
Now, Eve is taking over where Caleb left off. With the help of Moss, an undercover subversive in the King's court, she plots to take down The New America, beginning with the capital, the City of Sand. Will Eve be able to bring about a new, free world when she's called upon to perform the ultimate act of rebellion - killing her father?
Cover Blurb: Yes or No? While I like that it is continuing the general theme of this trilogy, and I can't see the character impersonator's face, I'm at a loss as to why she's sitting on a train track. It doesn't forewarn any character's dismal end via being hit by a train, nor does Eve follow train tracks at any point. In short, there are no trains! The title, at least, makes a bit more sense than the last one.
Characters: Where I had concerns in Once that Eve would become a very reluctant member of the resistance (much like Katniss in Mockingjay), I was surprised to find quite the opposite. Eve uses her position as princess to help the rebellion as much as she can, though I honestly thought she could have tried harder to convince her father the King that she was slowly coming to see things his way. Maybe then he wouldn't have been so suspicious of her? The one thing that I wanted to smack Eve for was her reluctance to kill the King. For some reason, she has an attachment to this man whom she's never known and who is a tyrant and murdered her true love. I don't think I would have any difficulty in assassinating him. But one quality about Eve that I do like is she gets over her reluctance fairly quickly and does what needs to be done. That said, I must confess that I had a really hard time becoming emotionally attached to any of the characters in Rise. I went through the entire thing just wanting it to be over already, and so I failed to connect to anyone on any level. Eve, Moss, Pip, Charles - I could not have cared less about them. Charles, in fact, completely disappeared into the background, which I thought rather rotten, considering he showed potential in Once.
The Romance: Since Charles becomes part of the wallpaper and Caleb is absent indefinitely, the romance is nil, and I am not complaining about that.
Plot: With the death of Caleb, Eve's true and only love, Eve has sworn her loyalty to the rebels and their cause: to rid The New America of the tyrannical king, Eve's own father. Working with Moss, a rebel leader within the palace itself, Eve does everything she can to assist them. And when she's called to assassinate her own father, she's not sure she's prepared to live with the consequences of such an action. Okay, so a princess playing at a role in order to get close to the king and assassinate him so the rebels can take over - sounds exciting? Well, unfortunately the majority of Rise is spent much in the same way as Eve: a road trip to Califia, a secret haven for women. We get to see some rebel action, thank goodness, but most of it is through third-person narration when Eve meets other people who were actually there at the fighting. When Eve is forced to hit the road for a while, dragging with her a handful of girls from the Schools, we leave behind what potential exciting moments this book had and are subjected to a rather dull journey. Few events help alleviate the boredom, and what accidents occur seem to simply be thrown in to complicate the situation for Eve and the girls more than it already is. It really felt like I was reading Eve again, only without Caleb.
Believability: While the book keeps insisting that the King is an evil tyrant, I still fail to see it. Not that he comes across as a nice guy, 'cause he doesn't, but I would never presume to put him on the same level as real tyrants and dictators. I also have a difficult time believing that Eve would feel any affection whatsoever for him. She's never known this man, and what little time she's spent in his company he has done nothing but ruin her life and kill people. I wouldn't be likely to feel anything for him, even if he was the only living parent I had. There's also a point in the book where several rebels are executed, and everyone is positively shocked by this. Wait a minute - people are shocked that their evil tyrant king is executing people? Really?
Writing Style: First person, past tense. At the beginning of this trilogy, the Author loved giving nasty microscopic descriptions of things like dried spit, dried vomit, sweat, and the like. By Once, these descriptions lessened, and Rise had practically none. So in that sense, the Author's writing has improved. There is still nothing terribly special - or terribly bad - about the style itself. It does nothing for me, but it doesn't irritate me, either.
Conclusion: With the King still needing to be assassinated, the soldiers chasing after Eve, and Eve's sudden realization that she either has to kill him or risk losing everything she cares for, there's quite a bit that needs to happen in the climax. Somehow, though, with all of this needing to happen, the climax still managed to be about as exciting as the rest of the book: not at all. Eve's mission goes amazingly smoothly [Spoiler] the assassination of the King [End spoiler], and when it looks as if all is over for her [Spoiler] she's about the be executed [End spoiler], something else happens to interrupt it [Spoiler] the colonies invade [End spoiler]. And then, shocker of all shockers, a twist is revealed at the literal end of the story, but it's a twist I saw coming all the way back in Book Two, so it rather ruined the moment. What also ruined the moment was how bloody abruptly the book ended. While this trilogy is not the worst dystopian romance I have read, I don't really care to ever read it again. It's worst crime was that of being slow and boring, and with the pace of Rise, I knew that this would never make it to my favorites list - or even moderately close. Eve is an all right protagonist, but that's not enough to make up for the sheer boredom I experienced reading this.
Recommended Audience: Girl-read, fourteen-and-up, great for fans of dystopian romance that focus more on character emotions and the romance, than on the actual dystopian.
Others in This Trilogy: