I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
THE POLARIS UPRISING was an amazing dystopian story that met my every expectation. This time, we see the dysfunctional government from within through the eyes of Ryla and Alanna, the daughters of the President, with Ryla set to take over as President in seven years. The government provides its people with their every need - food, medicine, and shelter - whereas in other dystopian novels, people are starving and worked to death. There's a huge catch of course - the people must give up their free will in exchange for their basic needs.
Ryla and Alanna have grown up privileged but are instantly likable characters with many positive qualities. They've only been given a positive spin by their father on the way the country is run and so are naive in not realizing what people have given up to have their basic needs met by the government. It isn't until the middle of the novel that Ryla begins to see underneath the shiny exterior.
The dynamic between these sisters is beautiful and strong yet fragile at the same time. Alanna has taken over a mothering role with Ryla since their mother when they were very young. But with their personalities being so distinct from each other, it was easy for me to tell they'd soon be heading in different directions. Alanna wholeheartedly believes in their father while Ryla finds evidence piling up that their father hasn't been truthful with them, and I knew Alanna wasn't going to want to hear it.
Tyson and his father Alek were welcome additions to the story. Alek impressed me right away with his sincerity, compassion, and intelligence - Tyson with his bravery and warmth. Alek has been hired by Ryla's father to be her tutor in preparing her to take over as leader. I just loved both of these characters. Every time they were in a scene I found myself smiling.
The struggle Ryla soon finds herself in with whether she truly wants to be the next President, something she had never given much thought to before, was interesting and kept me glued to THE POLARIS UPRISING. I felt her pain in wondering why her father has kept so much of the truth from her and the shame she felt from not knowing the truth before now.
With the second half of the book action packed (not to mention the night that changes EVERYTHING), I'm ready for the second installment and am thoroughly impressed with Ibarra's debut as an author. I loved the world Ibarra has introduced, and her story had me thinking beyond what was on the pages, which I absolutely adore when a book can do that for me. THE POLARIS UPRISING is a must-not-miss novel!