Book Review: Icons (Icons #1) by Margaret Stohl

Posted May 29, 2013 by Melissa in Book Review | 8 Comments

Title: Icons

Series: Icons #1
Author: Margaret Stohl
Pages: 428

Age Group: Young Adult

Genre: Science Fiction/Post Apocalyptic

Publisher: Little Brown Books
ISBN: 978-0316205184
Publication Date: May 7th, 2013
Available Formats: Hardcover, E-Book, Audio

Add the book: Goodreads  
Buy the book:  Amazon   | B & N | The Book Depository

Source: Publisher for Review


Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol’s family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn’t know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside — safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can’t avoid.

She’s different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador’s privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn’t a coincidence. It’s a conspiracy.

Within the Icon’s reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions — which they’ve always thought to be their greatest weaknesses — may actually be their greatest strengths.

Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts — in order to save the future.

My Thoughts

After reading the first two books in the Beautiful Creatures series and not being thrilled, I admit that I didn’t go into Icons with the highest of expectations.  Luckily I was quite pleasantly surprised. This however, is one of those odd cases where I can’t really pin point why I enjoyed a book much more than my thoughts on the individual aspects might indicate…so I guess…please just bear with me.

The pacing of Icons was relatively slow, I kept waiting for things to pick up and they never really did.  There were some aspects of Stohl’s world building that were amazing but then again in other areas I felt as if I really didn’t have a true sense at all of the world in which Dol lived.  We saw snippets of what life was like for those who lived in the Grasslands as well as those who lived under the thumb of the Embassy….but I never felt as if I had the whole picture.

The four main characters: Dol, Ro. Lucas, & Tima were all incredibly interesting with diverse backstories.  I really enjoyed them…but can’t say that I completely connected with any of them.  I was also a bit offput by the semi-love triangle that developed.  They so rarely work, and I don’t feel that it did here…but perhaps time and further storytelling will prove me wrong.  The side character of Fortis completely stole the show for me.  I’m hoping that we see a lot more of him in the sequel.

On the whole. I think that this really had the potential to be great, but simply fell a bit short.  For the length of the novel there simply wasn’t enough world building, character development, or action to satisfy me. Despite all of this, I still had a really hard time putting it down and quite honestly read it in no time. 

I’m thinking (and hoping) that maybe all of this ambiguity is leading up to a big and great surprise in the next book in the series….  I’m very intrigued with the whole concept  and definitely will pick up the second in the series with the hopes that it will build upon this pretty solid base.

Was It Worth My Time?

3.5 Timepieces

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8 responses to “Book Review: Icons (Icons #1) by Margaret Stohl

  1. candacerobinson

    I got this one at ALA but I saw so many negative reviews of it that I’ve held off. I have had very little patience with books that are slow so I guess I’ll probably end up waiting until the next book is released. Wonderful review Melissa!

  2. What is up with all the long, world building YA epic books that just chug along slowly? Don’t authors know that teens (their audience) don’t have attention spans quite yet? I’m old and I sure don’t! I’m stuck, yet again, in another Immortal Rules.

    Awesome, awesome, awesome… and very fair review, girlie!!!!! I was kind of wondering how her writing was on her own, too!!!

  3. Hmm, since I read a lot of adult and love clunker books the slow pace doesn’t bother me, but i am concerned that with all the world building you didn’t fully feel like you knew the world. I am curious about the secondary characters. This may be a book where I wait for reviews of book two, Great review Melissa!

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