Publisher: Corgi (RHCP)
Release Date: 25th April 2013
Edition: UK paperback, review copy
ACID – the most brutal police force in history.
They rule with an iron fist.
They see everything. They know everything.
They locked me away for life.
They say I murdered my parents.
I was fifteen years old.
My name is Jenna Strong.
I’ve been looking forward to read Emma Pass’ debut for such a long time that I can’t really remember not wanting it! But I have to say, ACID was definitely worth the wait.
Jenna is an amazing protagonist. I was expected a strong, kickass heroine and yet she still surpassed my expectations. She’d been so dragged through the mud that you’d forgive her for a being a little fragile and broken, but no. She learned how to fight back and hold her own. I loved her against the backdrop of a sexist dystopia; she’s fiery, loyal and can look after herself.
Emma Pass created a terrifying world in ACID. Not just because of the scary social hierarchy, militant government and powerlessness of the people, but more the extents to which bad people will take their power and resources. I don’t want to mention anything specific in case of spoilers, but those who’ve read ACID will (hopefully) know exactly what I mean. I was also really shocked by the idea of LifePartnering and a woman’s control and say in that, as well as her prospects is she wasn’t LifePartnered. It took this world that’s a hundred years ahead of ours to over a hundred years behind us.
As well as a myriad of characters to love, some of them unexpectedly, there was also a fair share of truly horrible enemies. Obviously, I was no fan of the General, but I actually disliked Jacob even more. Oh, he got on my nerves that one! There were lots of tantalising plots twists centred around Jenna and her companions and the past that often had me gasping aloud. I took a good twist!
One of my favourite things about ACID was the reports, articles and extra bits that were interspersed between the chapters. It gave an extra dimension to Jenna’s story, giving us background and reasons to panic about things that we know Jenna didn’t know about yet; I thought that was very clever. Also, I’m pretty sure ACID is a standalone. I got that impression from start to finish, well until the very last page that is. Standalones are rare in dystopian YA and I think this does it perfectly and it made me so happy to think that it is. Although, that tease at the end of the novel could launch more books, but I’d like it to just remain as a hint that this isn’t the end of Jenna’s story and that she’ll live beyond the end of ACID.
Break-neck pace, a heroine you can’t help but love and a terrifying world, ACID is a debut that you won’t forget about in a hurry. I cannot wait for Emma Pass’s next book.
Thank you to RCHP for providing me with a review copy.