The Enemy Within by Scott Burn
*Review copy provided by the author for an honest review – thanks so much Mr. Burn!*
Besides the great and unknown scifi, I really don’t really too many the-world-is-ending books. Mostly because I can never spell dystopia right – I literally had to Google how to spell it right now. But when Burn approached me to read this, I couldn’t pass up after reading the blurb and reading the Teacher of YA’s review here. And despite me not using going for this, I found myself enjoying this thrilling ride!
Once Upon a Time…
Seventeen-year-old Max has always felt like an outsider. When the agonizing apocalyptic visions begin, he decides suicide is his only escape. He soon finds himself in an institution under the guidance of a therapist who sees something exceptional in him. Just as he begins to leave the hallucinations behind, Max discovers the visions weren’t just in his head.
There are three others who have shared those same thoughts and they’ve been searching for Max. Like him, they are something more than human. Each of them possesses certain abilities, which they’re going to need when a covert military group begins hunting them down.
As the danger escalates, Max doesn’t know which side to trust. But in the end, his choice will decide the fate of both species.
This book wastes no time jumping right into the action. I was honestly hooked right from the start, and all of my reservations flew out about reading this genre. I loved how we didn’t have any preamble and it left me questioning to keep going – and not questions that would have left me confused.
I enjoyed the characters as well. I liked them all, and I felt that each of them was individual enough to differentiate – even all the science people that I was confused about in the beginning. I also thought they were super realistic. These kids felt like actual teens to me. They were a bit dark and moody and broody – which in a lot of fluffy YA seems to show a lot of sunshine and rainbows.I thought it was perfect for this atmosphere, and just gave the book a little bit of a grittier age. Noah was definitely my favorite character, and I was so entertained by him. Max was a great narrator as well. However, since there was a lot of characters, I never felt super connected to any of them although I did enjoy and like them a lot.
There was a good fast pace as well. Sometimes when there is a fast pace, it gets too rushed and jumpy, and I felt this novel never really did it. Some things were taken with really no questions asked, but after what was saw and done, it did make more sense. I loved how quick it all went, and I could binge read a couple of chapters super fast – which is always a major plus.
The entire concept was very interesting as well. While there were some elements I thought could be cliche when I first began it, I was super surprised and thrilled that Burn took them in new and different directions. I really didn’t know where things were headed, and I thought that was great.
As I said, this isn’t the type of book I usually read, and it’s honestly why the crowns got a little dented when they were going up for the rating. My lack of love for the genre kind of gave me a general disconnect from the book, and while there was a lot of exciting things going on, I never really fully got invested. That was the main issue I had with the book, and it was really my own issue with my genre love.
Overall, this was definitely a good book! Although it wasn’t my usual read, I still enjoyed it, and I think Burn definitely has a great writing style since he got me to enjoy a genre I don’t usually like. Four crowns, and a Merida rating (usually Merida is used for lower stars reviews, but I think Merida would definitely have the best chance if she was placed in the-world-is-ending books so here she is)!
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About the Author
Scott Burn is a former lawyer turned writer. He is the creator of the science fiction comic book series AGON and has sold several feature screenplays as well. THE ENEMY WITHIN is his first novel. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Sarah, three step children and two toe-nibbling cats. He loves that LA offers biking, hiking, surfing and skiing all relatively close by. He doesn’t do any of those things, but imagines he might in an alternate universe.
What do you think? How do you feel about the-world-is-ending books? Love or hate them?