Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Audiobook Review: Strike (The SYLO Chronicles #3) by D.J. MacHale

Book Series: The SYLO Chronicles, Book #3
Author: D.J. MacHale (Facebook | Twitter)
Genres: YA, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Mystery
Format: Audiobook (Amazon | Audible)
Narrators: Andrew Bates
Length: 12 hours & 12 minutes
Release Date: March 25, 2014
#1 New York Times bestselling author D.J. MacHale is back with the third book in the SYLO Chronicles. Once again, Tucker Pierce and friends must fight for their lives against the better-equipped SYLO. All bets are off in Strike—with twists so big readers will never see them coming—while the action and pulse-pounding suspense remain as high as ever. Fans will be sure to devour this incredibly satisfying conclusion.

OH MY GOSH, WHAT AN EPICALLY SPECTACULAR ENDING!!! I loved this series so much; dystopian at it's best.

Looking back, there is so much to comment on. This book was jammed pack with plot, but it was laid out really well. Nothing felt rushed or too lengthy, it was an expertly-paced read. I'm going to review at a high level. I don't want to give anything away. Go read it yourself! It's amazing, I highly recommend it.

Overall, the plot of this book was stellar. I got just enough of each piece in the puzzle to be satisfied. I loved so much how nothing was absolute. There was no happy ending to get. There was no quantifiable, true enemy. We're the Retros inherently evil? Was SYLO? No, I don't believe so. There was no "true right" or "true wrong". Every action had consequences that couldn't be magically fixed. So is life...

I really appreciated the character growth that Tucker went through. It was hard to envision 14- and 16- year old kids pulling off as much as they did, but then again I think there's so much value in youth. You're not yet so jaded and affected by the harsh realities of grown-up life (which really does suck, just sayin'). I did like that Tucker was impulsive and screwed up a lot. I like that Tori often was his consciences if not his harshest critic. Sometimes, I wanted her to ease off. But then, as more time went on you saw it came from a place of love and respect, and when it was most harsh, genuine disappointment.

That said, I loved Tori and Tucker's relationship the most. It felt the most authentic out of the two romantic pairings. I think Olivia really would have wanted to be with Tucker, but knew he wasn't really into her from the start. When Olivia's secret came, I wasn't surprised. I didn't trust her from the start, but I'm glad that the important parts of her actually trustworthy.

When the big reveal came as to who the Retros really were, I was both shocked and not shocked. I think that why they were so angry and callous made perfect sense. I also completely believe in their horrific reality. How is that not possible? It was also really interesting to see how politics and economics pretty much destroyed any chance of an easy resolution. When you think about it, after 350 some-odd years of warnings and waiting for change that never came, I get why the Retros were so desperate. Do I agree with their method -- hell no, I'm with Tori. There's no forgiving or siding with them.  

I was extremely happy with how the book, and this series, ended. I loved that Tucker and the gang saved the world but didn't get a perfect, happy ending. If they did, it would have been a discredit. Even more than that, I loved that they never lost sight in who they "were." That they didn't just live out their days in their alternate universe but did what they had always tried to do. The right thing. And then, I loved how they were able to lead the world in the right direction a second time around. 

FINAL THOUGHTS:: I couldn't envision a better end to this the series, right down to the business card. Well done!

RECOMMENDED FOR:: For those who love science fiction and action, and a trilogy with an exceptionally well-executed slow burn

ANDREW BATES is new to me and I thought he was perfect. It was a performance rather than just a reading, which I love. He definitely contributed a lot to my enjoyment of this story. 

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