Paradigm by Ceri A. Lowe

Received from NetGalley for review. 

3.5 stars

In Paradigm we follow two narratives – Carter’s, a fifteen year old who has just been thawed from cryo, in the present day Community, a world that is regulated and controlled to perfection, where everyone lives and works in productive harmony, and Alice’s, set eighty-seven years in the past, when The Storms hit Britain and sent it underground. Carter is ready to become a contender for controller general but he soon realises that not everything is as it seems and that the world has changed in the fifteen or so years he’s been frozen, the system that he believes so fully in may not be doing what is just and right and there are mutinous whisperings of rebellion and unrest. Alice’s world completely changes when The Storms hit and she discovers who she really is as a person.

I quite liked the idea of the split narratives, as we find out a lot about how the Community came to be whilst being immersed in what was happening in the present day Community, it’s a narrative I haven’t come across often and I think it worked well in this book. There is a lot of world building and developing because of this, but I did find it a bit confusing at times as Lowe switches between Carter and Alice a lot, so it was hard to really get into either of their stories fully – this fractured the action a bit too much for my liking. I liked the characters of Carter and Alice, though, and enjoyed the way they navigated their way through what was happening in their lives.

Overall, Paradigm is an interesting and action-packed dystopian debut. The writing is gorgeously fluid and easy to read and I can imagine a lot readers flying through this book and demanding more.

Read: June 18th-28th 2014

3.5/5 stars


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