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4.5 out of 5
The world is much safer than it was 15 years ago, at least that’s what the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense would like you to think. There are basically no freedoms and you are watched at every turn. Now, the OCSD wants to “protect the citizens” by coming up with an antidote to the poison that terrorists are releasing randomly into the atmosphere. Needless to say, things aren’t all that they seem.
Counteract was narrated by Sarah Rogers, who has a really nice younger female voice which works perfectly with the protagonist of the novel. A few times I felt like she sounded too young/childish, but that was only for scenes that were dealing with the adult antagonist characters in the book. Overall, I felt like Rogers did a wonderful job and I was happy to listen to a book I had already read to see how it would sound (and what would change listening to someone else read it to me).
Counteract is a really nice addition to the young adult/YA Dystopian scene. The characters were well hashed out and incredibly likable. I’m always happy when an author (especially a new/indie one) can write such strong characters that drive the rest of the book. There are numerous antagonists that Careen and others must fight against, and they are really well described. You definitely find yourself rooting for Careen throughout.
Following the two main characters, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Another trait that is rare in a first book in a series. Usually, I can tell within the first 100 pages how the story is going to end (or not end). This book had me surprised around every corner. Lawson is going to be one of those authors to watch in the near future for sure.
Overall, the story was enticing and enthralling enough to be enjoyed by an adult, but I could really see the draw for a YA. It’s always great when YA stories can be enjoyed by adults and young adults. I think that the writing was aimed more at young adults (there were a few times that I felt like things were simplified for a younger reader), but this didn’t take away from the story at all.
I don’t know if this will be the next Hunger Games or Divergent, but it has the qualities to become something that strong.
I was given a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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