Spoiler Free Section
A.T.O.N is Lindsay Anne Kendal’s latest book and unlike her Bloodlines Trilogy, this book takes place in the everyday world – if the everyday world were full of action and explosions on every street corner that is. This book was fast paced and loaded with action but the characters seemed to fall flat for me and that made it too easy for me to put the book down. The motion of the plot is very well written though so I highly recommend this book to anyone who prefers an action packed plot. In the end, I give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Spoiler section (If you read this before reading the book, K is coming for you)
I did like this book but I don’t imagine it’s something that I will feel compelled to re-read frequently in the future. A lot of that, I think, is because I’m not a huge fan of action books or films. However, there were other things as well. For me, the main hang up was that I didn’t have any attachment to any of the characters and what I did see of most of those characters made me want to smack them. The one character we see the most is K and even she remains a mystery (though in her case, it makes more sense because that’s the point of her character.) The one character I absolutely hated because of his attitude was Phil. I thought he was a jerk. Declan, the main character, seemed overly fixated on revenge to the point that I can’t imagine he would actually be an effective detective. Not only that, but I though he used his parents' death as an excuse for his poor temperament way too much.
The other issue I had with this book is that, when there wasn’t any action going on, there was long dialogue. A lot of the time, it felt like the characters were monologuing on a stage and for me that got boring. To top it off, the book opened with a crazy amount of action but ended with none. The ending felt like a whisper and it was a little bit of a letdown. While I do look forward to reading the next book so that I can see what happens, I’m not really chomping at the bit because the ending was so soft that it didn’t leave me hanging on. I was able to close the book and set it down and continue on with my life and I feel like the book could have had a much stronger ending. Starting with explosions and ending with two characters saying they’re going to work together doesn’t really seem like a complete narrative arc for the book.
This book did do well in leaving room for predictions for the second book. For starters, I’m terrified for Ferrah and Phil’s life. I honestly think one of them will die in the next book. I don’t trust Jodie or Joe – I’m convinced one of them will betray the group because of the way they are acting in the first book (even though in our live stream Kendal tried to tell me otherwise without giving too much away). However, I don’t have any definite clues yet so I don’t know if I’m paranoid or picking up on subtle hints. I look forward to seeing which it is.
The most interesting part of this book was the fact that it showed a lot of growth in Lindsay Anne Kendal’s writing style and it was nice to see her branching into a different genre (even if I spent over half the book expecting K to reveal to Declan that she was an alien from a distant galaxy). The syntax and diction was on a whole new level for Lindsey and I truly enjoyed the writing style. I look forward to seeing how she continues to grow in all of her other books.