Sunday, April 15, 2018

Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol

Firstborns rule society. Secondborns are the property of the government. Thirdborns are not tolerated. Long live the Fates Republic.

On Transition Day, the second child in every family is taken by the government and forced into servitude. Roselle St. Sismode’s eighteenth birthday arrives with harsh realizations: she’s to become a soldier for the Fate of Swords military arm of the Republic during the bloodiest rebellion in history, and her elite firstborn mother is happy to see her go.

Televised since her early childhood, Roselle’s privileged upbringing has earned her the resentment of her secondborn peers. Now her decision to spare an enemy on the battlefield marks her as a traitor to the state. But Roselle finds an ally—and more—in fellow secondborn conscript Hawthorne Trugrave. As the consequences of her actions ripple throughout the Fates Republic, can Roselle create a destiny of her own? Or will her Fate override everything she fights for—even love?

I grabbed this one because I was doing my monthly book order and saw the second one was coming out shortly.  The second book sounded so good I wanted to read the first.  Of course, it was only available through the Michigan E-Library because only 3 libraries in the state had the first one.  This is your typical dystopian novel.  Something has seriously gone wrong with the society where there is a need for population control.  Families are only allowed two children.  The first child born is automatically elevated into the top 1% and becomes a member of the ruling class.  The 2nd born serves the government in some capacity. Our heroine is Roselle and her family is in charge of the military wing of the government.  Since the St. Sismodes are such a huge deal, Roselle's entire existence from birth to adulthood is televised for the whole world to watch.  It's kind of like "See even the most important people in the world make the same sacrifices the rest of you do."  We find out that Roselle's fate is to placed into the lowest level of the military where it is almost certain she will make the noble sacrifice of her life in the fight against the rebels who wish to do away with the social hierarchy.  Things don't go as expected though as Roselle discovers she has people on her side-including handsome fellow military recruit Hawthorne.  She continues to defy expectations at every turn, much to the disappointment of her mother who would rather see Roselle out of the picture once and for all.

Overall I really enjoyed this book.  There were some things about Roselle's character I didn't enjoy as much.  She is supermodel beautiful, is extremely smart, and can fight better than anyone else.  I always find it hard to like characters that have the perfection deck stacked in their favor.  There are several things about her I did like though-fiery spirit and an intense desire to do what is right for people.   The story was really good as Roselle keeps getting obstacle after obstacle thrown in her way.  She also crosses paths with one of the most sadistic people on the planet who definitely has it out for her.  I've read  a lot of dystopians  and I would say this about middle of the pack.  I will be continuing on with the second book as this one left several unanswered questions and scenarios.  I stayed up pretty late to finish this one because I didn't want to wait til the next evening to see how it ended.