A hunger games style book but with a more fight for survival theme and some over-controlling robots too!
I would like to start my review by saying I grateful to Rebellion Publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.
The Chosen Twelve follows a similar idea a number of novels and other media has begun to popularise in recent years but has put a slightly different science fiction twist. The novel starts with a group of children who are told they are the last members of the human race and they have a task to repopulate and cultivate a wild planet. The children are led by a robot who attempts to teach the children what they need in order to succeed but only a twelve of them can go on the lander to the new planet. This is story line begins the hungry games style all-for-one concept which is a little predictable at times within the story. The twist however is what makes the story stand out just a little bit extra – the humans are told they are to obey their robotic overloads. They aren’t your classic terminator style bad ass robots, more sarcastic and clearly suffering from small man syndrome.
One thing to consider with this novel is the volume of characters – there are a lot and at times can sometimes be tricky to remember who is who and what makes them different from each other. There are a couple of stand out character – Delta and Gamma are the two most memorable to myself. The trouble with the characters is how the author has chosen to name them. They are follow mathematical language such as psi, epsilon, etc and this makes it hard sometimes to follow who is who, or even truly care about the different characters because the names didn’t feel personal. There are some great relationships between characters and some sweet, thoughtful moments but again these are lost in the maze of characters. They are to be enjoyed within the scene and then lost within the pages. I did enjoy the robots in the story – their arrogance was interesting and believable within the world.
The setting itself is what I really loved about this novel. The concept that the human race has been wiped out, machines have decided that we aren’t responsible enough to save our own futures and only a select through are good enough to be chosen. You’d expect the characters to fight amongst themselves but in the immediate the bonds are strong and the breakdown is slow. This is a different pace to stories like Red Rising and The Hunger Games, taking its time to forge relationships before breaking them down into the climax within the novel. This is aided by the world they live in – the characters are all contained within the main ship but lying outside is a dangerous mix of hazards and killer robots (who once had normal responsibilities). This split of settings is part of the dynamic between the characters. Some are willing to explore and survive, whereas others prefer to live in safety.
Overall I did enjoy this read, I am loving the variety within the Science Fiction genre and The Chosen Twelve contains a slight twist on a battle royal style story. The characters have their moments but I failed to fall in love with any in particular.