Alpha by Jus Accardo (The Infinity Division #3) [E-ARC REVIEW]
Official release date: July 3, 2018
Sera is the obsession of a killer chasing a ghost. G is a soldier with too much blood on his hands.
Dylan lost the only person he ever loved—and will stop at nothing to get her back.
In a whirlwind chase that takes them back to where it all started, Sera, G, and Dylan will have to confront their demons—both physical and mental—and each other, in order to win their freedom.
👻 REVIEW 👻
I received this e-ARC from Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review.
In Alpha, we follow Sera and G (in alternating POVs) as they attempt to take down the creator of the Infinity project, Cora, once and for all. This involves a lot of realm skipping, alliances that are made and broken, and secrets that finally come to light. Though I’ve seen nothing confirming this, the book reads as a conclusion to the series, wrapping up story lines for Kori and Noah and all the characters from the previous two books.
My experience with this novel may be a very particular one, because I jumped into this series without experiencing the first or second novels. Book two, Omega, is advertised as one that can be read as a standalone. I have not seen that in relation to Alpha, but I will say this myself: you cannot read Alpha as a standalone book. You will understand the plot, but you will not connect to the characters’ motivations, nor will it be easy to understand all the terms specific to this book (ie realm skipping, PATH lines, the Infinity Division, etc).
For this reason, I will focus a lot of my review on what this book presented, and not what I didn’t understand that I’m sure was explained in other books. Just to get it out of the way, though, let me offer my (very likely ignorant due to lack of series knowledge) bafflement at your feet:
- PATH Lines: Somehow, these are implemented in certain individuals’ arms, allowing them to travel from realm to realm. The description on the PATH lines was lacking, though. Is this a holographic grid that pops up? An electronic line that illuminates on the person’s arm? How exactly does this look? As a reader, I had no way of picturing this during my reading.
- Realms: Slowly during my reading I came to understand there is only one real realm: Wells, a town I think? City? And it has many different versions, which is what the people are skipping through. But why does only Wells have different realms? What determines the rules in these different realms? (It seems so arbitrary that a realm is simply defined by “we jail people for violence” or the way they dress.
Let’s move to the actual book now. Prior to reading, I skimmed reviews on the first two books to get details on plot (since there didn’t seem to be actual full plot description anywhere, I improvised). This helped with knowing who was who, but even then, I kept forgetting characters and if they’re good or bad. Because there are a lot of characters? Noah, Yancy, Dylan, G, Kori, Cade, Cora, Ash, Sera, Karl Anderson (x2), Rabbit, Makaden… These names are popping up back and forth and sitting here now I think I remember how each of them contributed to the book?
With so many characters, it somewhat follows that the plot was a bit convoluted. In the beginning of the novel, Sera was imprisoned by Dylan and G is skipping around with Cade and I think some others? And Dylan wants nothing more than to have his Ava back. Sera makes a deal with him (will not spoil), he agrees with it, okay, we have a plan!
But then BAM, Cora appears and has the exact solution to his problem. Not to mention she brings up a problem for Sera (but has a solution) and a problem for G (but has a solution). So Sera’s deal with Dylan is now moot, their whole conversation was … a waste?
Then five seconds later BAM G appears and Sera ends up with him and Dylan skips off. So the plan that was made ten pages ago with Cora, so carefully, is moot too. G and Sera make their own plan with Cade but then BAM something else appears and that plan is moot…
I could continue but that would really spoil everything, although, is it a spoiler if the tendency of this book is to backtrack on everything the characters do? Every time a new character appears, they have the perfect solution to every problem our heroes face AND they render moot every single conversation/plan that has occurred in previous pages. For a majority of the book, I felt like I was wasting my time reading scenes that would mean nothing in a few more chapters. Which was frustrating to say the least?
Accardo focuses another portion of Alpha on Sera and G’s relationship. The two have been locked in adjacent cells for a significant portion of their lives, and now they are finally united. Clearly there is going to be some romantic tension. Sadly, I was not vibing this relationship. When G kisses Sera, it almost spooked me? The description was just very physical and violent, I actually thought he was going in to attack her, not make out. So sadly, not a ship for me.
“I’ve seen you, G. You’re not afraid of anything. So what’s the big deal? Just get over it and kiss–“
The thundering of my pulse drowned out everything else. The buzz of the clock, her voice, my logic… I lost my shit. I grabbed her face and mashed my lips to hers, moving them furiously, greedily, like she was the meal I’d been deprived of from the moment I’d entered this world.
I will say Accardo has something very creative and cool with the concept of this book. People skipping realms to find the one they love? I’m down for that. But the execution was not there for me, and I don’t think it’s simply because I hopped in mid-series. Yet my opinion will not necessarily be yours, so be sure to make your own thoughts on this series (and start with book one?) TBH, the first book’s plot intrigued me way more, sadly I was not offered that ARC. *sob*
Two stars because I felt like I was reading huge portions of a book that ended up backtracking on itself, the romance did not connect for me, and I (to be honest) was skimming by 80%.
Can you jump in mid-series, or is this a no-way, no-how? Better yet, have you ever started a series without reading the first book, well, first?