By Malorie Blackman, published by Random House.
Goodreads synopsis: Years after a violent war destroyed much of the world, Kaspar has grown up in a society based on peace and harmony. But beyond the city walls, a vicious band of rebels are plotting to tear this peace apart. It is up to the Guardians – an elite peacekeeping force – to protect the city, without ever resorting to the brutal methods of their enemy.
When Kaspar joins the Guardians, he has a chance encounter with a rebel – a beautiful girl named Rhea. Haunted from that moment on by strange visions and memories – memories that could only belong to Rhea – he realises he hasn’t been told the truth about what the rebels really want, and what he’s really fighting for.
My review: What a brilliant, dystopian read! If you’re a fan of Dan Wells, Suzanne Collins, or Lauren Oliver, I’m pretty sure that you will love this book. The setting was really great, and was really well developed and imaginative. A world half destroyed by war… and a ‘peaceful’ society in which people now grow up in… It was just so great. Plunging straight into the Guardian graduations at the beginning, I immediately got really interested in the society these people in the future are living in. Then, when not even fifty pages in, a terrorist attack took place, I literally went “WHOA!”, and realised that this book was going to be very action packed. And, to my delight, it was. Throughout the (seriously brilliant, well structured and unpredictable) plot, there was so much nail-biting suspense and action that kept me on the edge of my seat. This is definitely one of the most thrilling dystopians that I have ever read. And I’ve read a lot.
The plot was so great. the first, rather unexpected terrorist attack set off a chain of events that would affect Kaspar’s friends and future. There were so many shocking moments that I had to keep re-reading (that’s a good thing, because they felt so realistic!). Also, I really loved Malorie Blackman’s writing. I really liked how she added, every few chapters, a segment from a piece of writing containing information about the war that has destroyed so much of the Earth and formed a terrorist group. Those pieces were much enjoyed by myself, but seemed to get forgotten about around the middle section of the book, though, and then were shown towards the end. I would have liked to have read a few more, really, because they were really interesting.
Kaspar was a really great character and I loved reading about him. From the start, I could see his raw determination to become a Guardian of the city and help fight back at the violent terrorists. I think he was such a likeable and clever character, and he developed really well in terms of confidence throughout the story. I was supporting him all the way through, and totally respected his choices, especially the heart-breaking one about Rhea towards the ending. He also got closer and closer to Mac, a supporting character, through the course of events, and I really enjoyed seeing Kaspar start to find feelings for Mac, and how their story ended. My only problem with him was that after A Certain Somebody I Won’t Mention The Name Of died near the middle, he seemed angry at first… and then seemed to just forget about him. If there was one thing I could change about this book, I would have enjoyed it even more than I already did if he felt a bit more affected by A Certain Somebody’s death, and maybe did it justice by getting back at the terrorists somehow.
Overall, NOBLE CONFLICT was a really, really awesome read. If you’re looking to read what I’m very sure is going to be The Next Big Dystopian, go buy this now! This book was full of action, drama and adventure, in a layered and well-written plot, and was led by a very strong character who I’d love to read more about. I’d so want a sequel, Malorie Blackman- this brilliant world you’ve created is absolutely amazing!
My Rating: (check out my new rating system on the third page of the menu, above.)
I received a copy of NOBLE CONFLICT from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.