The first installment of the I Am Alive trilogy, Cameron Jace’s I Am Alive was a great read and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.
The story is broken into 3 episodes and follows Decca Tenderstone. She is a 16 year old living in a dystopian-version Los Angeles, part of the country known as Faya in the future. Everyone receives a rank in Faya and your ranking rules your life. Anyone ranked 6-9 receives a stable job, while anyone with a 5 or less is labeled a Monster and sacrificed to the Monster Show, a deadly, Hunger Games-esque killing game with no winners–unless you know how to defeat Carnivore, a single-eyed, genetically mutated tiger. Decca wants to enter the Monster Show, because she believes her best friend Woo survived last year’s games and she is determined to find him. What she doesn’t count on is a love-hate relationship with a pop star-turned-Monster and a motley crew of allies that gets smaller with each game.
While the description of I Am Alive makes it seem like a rip-off of The Hunger Games, the stories are not really alike other than having teens in death games. These games are more like those in the movie The Running Man; the teens aren’t expected to kill each other, there is some kind of bad guy or killing machine that they must defeat. The games seem more real (and are more exciting) than Suzanne Collins’ because you don’t see them through Decca’s eyes, you actually are Decca and hear her thoughts, as well.
The story is surprising and has fun details. Faya is a twisted caricature of our society and includes pokes at some of our popular brand names and concepts. Zwitter, Dizney, and Zootube are all mentioned and the Fayan society is based off of the desert rave Burning Man, which I found hilarious. A Burning Man statue was found by some of the Fayan founders and it is now their god. as are the characters, especially Decca who pulls off a pretty surprising stunt.
There are a ton of quirky characters in Faya, including Decca, who turns out to be pretty surprising. Timmy, the “unstable genius,” becomes the games’ Trickster, a kind of diabolical MC who benefits if everyone dies in the most gruesome way possible. And then there is Leo. Ah, Leo. The pop star who has fallen from grace and is using the games to redeem himself.
The novel begins with a disclaimer which I found a little off-putting. The author is basically saying, “I’m not the first person to write about teens fighting for survival in a set of barbaric games held by a dystopian society, but that’s ok because my story is different.” Almost every story has been done before, though, and if the writing is good and there’s a fresh take on it, then there’s no need to provide an explanation or disclaimer to your readers.
If you are into dystopians, I recommend checking out I Am Alive. It’s a creative take on kids in killing games and the pop culture references are amusing.
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
About I Am Alive
Every girl dies – not every girl really lives.
Sixteen-year-old Decca Tenderstone feels captivated when she meets gorgeous and reckless Leo, who is arrogant, silent, beautiful, and shoots almost every one he meets.
the usual boring girl meets badboy story… hmm… with a twist …
They live in a dystopian future in Los Angeles where every sixteen-year-old is ranked on a scale from one to ten to determine their future. Outranks, who are considered a danger to society, are forced to attend the Monster Show, a brutal sacrificing ritual that is broadcasted worldwide on live TV, where rebellious teens are labelled Bad Kidz or Monsters and get to fight for their lives in deadly games.
To prove that you’re still alive you have to scream I Am Alive every six hours. Lower your voice, and you’re dead.
Deccaa doesn’t need Leo’s company. She has a secret of her own. While they both can’t stand each other, she will find out why she doesn’t fit into any rank.
Nothing will stand in her way as she has to make choices concerning love, life, staying alive, growing up, and finding out who she really is.
About the Author
Wonderlander, Neverlander, Unicorn-chaser, enchanter, musician, survived a coma, & totally awesome. Sometimes I tell stories. Always luv the little monsters I write young adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and science fiction mostly. The Grimm Diaries series is a seven book saga that deals with retellings of fairy tales from a young adult POV – it connects most of the fairy tales together and claims to be the truth about fairy tales. I live in San Fransisco and seriously think circles are way cooler than triangles.
Win an e-copy of I Am Alive through this Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends on March 15th.