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The blurbs on the book did not lie this Book was definately like Mr D. K Holmberg but more gritty and dark. All minor and major characters are well fleshed out. Predictable but engaging story line and decent bit of mystery and adventure make this a good start to hopefully a long series.
This book is the first of four that I've read, and sets the stage nicely for the story. It's well written and flows along nicely, keeping the reader engaged. Our young hero-to-be is introduced as well as some of the other characters that continue through the story. The characters are believable and the author does a good job of not over-writing them. All in all, one of the better books in a genre that has been crowded by very average offerings in the past few years.
There were some stumbles, but overall, the book is pretty solid. This author establishes that society hates the tributes, but doesn't ever really explain why. The story is so gung-ho to create injustice as a motivational device, that it forgets to lay a solid groundwork for why the injustice occurs. Villains don't become evil for evil's sake, they need to have something to gain. This seems to be a failing of the entire YA genre.
Other than that, the only real weakness is the grammar. Sentence structure is pretty shaky at times. It's not unreadable, but clearly in need of editing. There are so many sentence fragments that it appears to be a grammar deficiency on the author's part, rather than a few typos. It's actually astounding how many amateur stumble over punctuation.
Despite the weaknesses, the story is a decent start to the series and has me looking forward to he next book.