Review: Paradox by A J Paquette

 

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

  Fans of James Dashner’s Maze Runner series will love this postapocalyptic adventure about a girl who must survive an alien planet in order to save the Earth.

   Ana only knows her name because of the tag she finds pinned to her jumpsuit. Waking in the featureless compartment of a rocket ship, she opens the hatch to discover that she has landed on a barren alien world. Instructions in her pocket tell her to observe and to survive, no doubt with help from the wicked-looking knives she carries on her belt. But to what purpose?

   Meeting up with three other teens–one boy seems strangely familiar–Ana treks across the inhospitable landscape, occasionally encountering odd twists of light that carry glimpses of people back on Earth.   They’re working on some sort of problem, and the situation is critical. What is the connection between Ana’s mission on this planet and the crisis back on Earth, and how is she supposed to figure out the answer when she can’t remember anything?


Review:

I was excited to dive into Paradox by AJ Paquette for a number of reasons.  First, Paquette wrote one of my favorite reads from last year, the moving Nowhere Girl.  Second, it’s a science fiction novel, and there just aren’t enough of those to go around.  And third, the premise sounded fascinating.  Was it?  Yes and no.

Ana wakes up strapped to a chair in a rocket ship.  She has no memories or recollection of her past.  She doesn’t even know what she looks like.  She only knows her name because she has a name tag pinned to her jumpsuit.  She finds a note instructing her to Experience.  Discover. Survive.  Talk about a bare-bones mission statement!  At least she’s well supplied, with a massive backpack that seems to contain her every need.  Whoever packed it must have been a boy scout.

In rapid succession, she is attacked by a monstrous, dagger-toothed worm, discovers that she wasn’t the only one on the rocket, and learns she has a limited amount of time to accomplish her goal, whatever that is.  Ana’s lack of memories and knowledge of her past made for a tense, gripping read.  It also led to a great deal of frustration on my part when it’s revealed that her companions have retained all of their memories, and that they know exactly what’s going on.  While that was crucial for her mission parameters, it’s one of my least favorite tropes in YA fiction.  It’s almost as though the other characters think the protagonist is too stupid to be trusted with the knowledge needed to know what’s going on.  Instead, our intrepid little heroine stays alive through a mixture of luck and  sheer determination, marching towards the end of the book.  I felt the same way here, and maybe it’s because the other characters make no secret that they know what’s going on, and keep insisting that they’ll fess up the details at the end of their journey.  Should they ever arrive at that destination.

Along the way, they are attacked repeatedly by that scary worm thing.  It was stalking them.  I was hoping for a guest appearance by Tremors’ star, Kevin Bacon, which would have proven beyond a doubt that all steps truly do lead to Kevin.  Ana and company are also in a race against time.  Ana awakens wearing a timer that is counting down the hours until the end of their mission.  What happens when the timer reaches 00?  Nope, we don’t know that, either, but it must be pretty awful.

I found Paradox hard to put down.  It is a runaway freight train of adventure.  Danger! Danger! Will Robinson! It’s everywhere!  The writing is tense and in the moment.  At first the third person present tense narrative turned me off, but I quickly grew accustomed to it.  It kept me engaged in the story, running frantically with Ana and Todd as they navigated the strange, deadly world they found themselves on.  I wanted to know what the heck was going on, and how Ana was going to survive, given her massive deficiencies.  And the counter was always there, steadily ticking toward…what? Doom?  Rescue?  Dinner??

There is one caution I will give, and that is that Paradox reads more like a middle grade novel than YA.  Since I enjoy reading both, I wasn’t put off by the fact that I thought this book skewed to younger readers than I had expected.

Looking for a frenzied summer read?  Paradox flies along like a summer action flick, offering tons of adventure and excitement.  There’s running!  There’s mountain climbing!  There’s a scary jaunt through a dead forest!  And did I mention – killer worms?  Yeah, it’s got those, too.  So, my verdict for Paradox by AJ Paquette is just one word – FUN.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by Rockstar Blog Tours

Spotlight and Giveaway: Paradox by A.J. Paquette

Today I’m delighted to be working with Rockstar Book Tours to bring you a giveaway and a review of Paradox by AJ Paquette.  We’ll get the party started with a giveaway – just fill out the widget to be entered!  Check back later for my review of Paradox!

 

About the Book

Ana only knows her name because of the tag she finds pinned to her jumpsuit. Waking in the featureless compartment of a rocket ship, she opens the hatch to discover that she has landed on a barren alien world. Instructions in her pocket tell her to observe and to survive, no doubt with help from the wicked-looking knives she carries on her belt. But to what purpose?

Meeting up with three other teens–one boy seems strangely familiar–Ana treks across the inhospitable landscape, occasionally encountering odd twists of light that carry glimpses of people back on Earth. They’re working on some sort of problem, and the situation is critical. What is the connection between Ana’s mission on this planet and the crisis back on Earth, and how is she supposed to figure out the answer when she can’t remember anything?

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15927558-paradox

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Paradox-A-J-Paquette/dp/037586962X/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/paradox-ammi-joan-paquette/1110207688?ean=9780375869624

About the Author

A.J. Paquette has been writing stories since early childhood. She and her sister would spend hours creating masterpieces of stapled paper and handwritten words, complete with pen-and-ink covers and boxed illustrations.

The road to publication was long and winding, peppered with many small successes including: a variety of national magazine publications, being a 2005 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award honoree, and receiving the 2008 SCBWI’s Susan Landers Glass Scholarship Award, for the book that would later become Nowhere Girl. Her first picture book, The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies, was published in 2009.

She now lives with her husband and two daughters in the Boston area, where she continues to write books for children and young adults. She is also an agent with the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

WEBSITE | TWITTER

Website: http://www.ajpaquette.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/joanpaq

Giveaway details:

An ARC of PARADOX to THREE winners. (US/Canada).

The giveaway will be shared across all stops via a common Rafflecopter.

Giveaway is US/Canada.

Must be 13 or older to enter.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway Rafflecopter direct link (if you can’t embed): http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9a07ce131/

 

Please be sure to check out the other stops on the Paradox blog tour!

http://www.rockstarbooktours.com/2013/05/tour-schedule-paradox-by-aj-paquette.html

Week One

June 17th – Parajunkee – Guest Post

June 18th – Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Interview

June 18th – In Bed With Books – Review

June 19th – Chapter by Chapter – Guest Post

June 20th – A Dream Within A Dream – Review

June 20th – Escaping… One Book at a Time – Guest Post

June 21st – Coffee, Books and Me – Interview

Week Two

June 24th – Word Spelunking – Review

June 25th – Emilie’s Book World – Guest Post

June 25th – Confessions of a Readaholic – Review

June 26th – Nick’s Book Blog – Interview

June 26th – Magna Maniac Cafe – Review

June 27th – A Book and a Latte – Guest Post

June 28th – I Am A Reader Not A Writer – Guest Post

Waiting on Wednesday–Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

I’m waiting to read Through the Ever Night until Into the Still Blue, the last book in Veronica Rossi’ trilogy is released in January 2014.  Can hardly wait!

Cover image from Goodreads.

 

 

Not available yet

 

What are you waiting on?