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  • ARC Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  • ARC Review: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
  • Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Review: Titans by Victoria Scott
  • Review: Karmic Hearts by Jhing Bautista

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Review: The Farm by Emily McKay

Ticks and vampires? Not a good combination.

Title: The Farm (The Farm #1) by Emily McKay
Release Date: November 21st 2012
Published by: Penguin Books
Source: Publisher (Thanks Tina!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

Summary:

For Lily and her twin sister, Mel, there is only the Farm . . .

It's a prison, a blood bank, a death camp - where fear and paranoia rule. But it's also home, of sorts. Because beyond the electric fence awaits a fate much, much worse.

But Lily has a plan.

She and Mel are going to escape - into the ravaged land outside, a place of freedom and chaos and horrors. Except Lily hasn't reckoned on two things: first, her sister's ability to control the horrors; and, secondly, on those out there who desperately want to find and control Mel.

Mel's growing power might save the world, or utterly end it. But only Lily can protect Mel from what is to come . . .

The Farm takes you into a terrifying future where civilization has ended, and leaves you there - fearful, gasping and begging to escape.

The story starts with Lily bargaining something that can get her killed in order to escape The Farm, where teens have been locked away to save them from the Ticks' invading the whole country. But The Farm isn't a Sanctuary at all, the teens are like cows being milked for their bloods to feed the very same thing they're staying away from. Life inside The Farm is harsh, everything is monitored, and those who violate the rules are fed to the Ticks for everyone to see. Lily wants to escape with her twin sister Mel to find a safe place to stay. But is there really a safe place for them to go to?

Barely 30 pages and I couldn't breathe already. I can feel the restrictions The Farm forces on the teens, and the drastic changes the Tick invasion has brought upon the world. It's a horrific world Lily and Mel lives in, one filled with blood, violence and where humans are being devoured mercilessly, and they want to escape from it. It's the first time I have read of twins put in such difficult situations like Lily and Mel did. Lily's tough, and she had to be for Mel. She's strong, again for Mel. Her life revolves around protecting her twin sister, and just for that I have such a big admiration for Lily. Her strength pushes Mel on, with enough patience and devotion to take care of Mel. You'd think Mel is a burden, and she is in some ways, but there's something in Mel that readers will immediately recognize as something special and it's not because she's different. Oftentimes I find myself struggling with everything she thinks, and she thinks in riddles and puzzles that begs to be figured out.

Emily McKay built such a merciless world in The Farm. There's no sense of safety or security anywhere, not in the Farm, with its electric fences surrounding the compound, because there's just as much things that can kill you inside. The Collabs, The Dean. When you turn 18, you disappear from the Farm. If you want to extend your life, get pregnant and increase your progesterone levels so you wouldn't be appetizing as food. Yes, humans are now viewed as food, which gives you goosebumps. It was like a nightmare version of a school, complete with vampires and other horrendous creatures. How can you even survive outside where you take chances to outrun the monsters called Ticks created by a failed experiment? Scary, freaky, creepy, these things are. They're inhuman, they don't feel anything. That heavy sense of foreboding and danger sticks to you more and more as you read along, and it gets heavier with each page.

Carter, the resident bad boy in the Before (before the Tick invasion), is a hardened warrior who has seen a lot. He was once a spoiled brat, a rebel, and he got thrust into a gruesome, violent reality when the military camp he was sent to was wiped out. He's seen death, lost comrades and loved ones, but he fights back. Although he seemed so useless at times and even admits a couple of times how Lily can beat him up if she wants to, I like a guy who isn't all macho and pretending to be strong in times when he's not. Carter is a steady force and anchor for the twins. He's got a kind heart, despite his confusing feelings for Lily. The way Lily responds to him, pushing on and pulling back, greatly frustrates me. The source of Lily's power confuses me as well and most of the time it leaves me conflicted and a little lost. Who was the savior everyone was talking about? Was it Lily or Mel? Does this power even really exist? It felt like there was no basis at all, like it was unreal and they're staking their lives for something make believe, especially with the very unconvincing way Carter explained how he knew that it was true. I was so desperate for some romance, something entirely different to look forward to amidst the deaths and the helplessness I couldn't help but wonder if there was a possibility for Mel and Sebastian. They were an unlikely pair, silence and violence, predator and prey. Even though I liked the fleeting moments between Carter and Lily I could barely focus on it, I was busy worrying for all of them.

The Farm will make a great horror slash thriller movie, the characters jumpiness, paranoia, desperation and fears leak out from the pages and rubs off to the readers. There's no time to take a breather because the story keeps on pushing one tension filled scene after another. That uneasy feeling that comes when you're not sure the characters will survive never fades once it was made clear, and you're left wondering what other evil things will happen with them all. A fair warning to everyone, if you're not a fan of bloody scenes, mutilated body parts and generally gore filled situations, prepare yourself for The Farm. It's got a lot of those scenes and then some. The climax caught me so much by surprise! My mouth was hanging open when it was all over. The thought "what did I just read? what happens next?" filled my mind so much I had to take a deep breath when I flipped to the last page.

The Farm is a "scare you out of your wits" kind of book. No sunshine or rainbows, but if you want to increase your heart rate and make your pulse speed up, or if you want to stay wide awake all night, this book will help you achieve that. Emily McKay's YA debut is explosive, thrilling and intense right from the start. The hold your breath and wait until it's over type of read. I loved it, I was scared of it, but overall I enjoyed reading it so much!


Content (plot, story flow, character):
I would've given this a 5 if Carter didn't sound so ridiculous explaining why he thinks Lily is THE one. Even I was unconvinced. And if it was true, way to destroy your chances with a girl, saying you're feeling this and doing that because you can't help it. Because of a certain power. Tsk.
Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:
Let the gloomy, dark cover be a warning of what the book is like.

4 comments:

  1. I'm really curious about the plot. The world-building sounds good. Thanks for the cool review, Kai!

    -Dannielle

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your review is totally spot on! I felt the same - 'barely 30 pages in and I couldn't breathe already' either! It was scary, fast-paced, thrilling - I just absolutely loved it too! :D

    Catherine :)
    The Book Parade

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm seriously just dying to read this book! There's something about gory vampire books thay just does it for me. I've alwayd loved the idea of humans as blood cows and us just being preys in general because it stays true to the vampire mythology and creeps the crap out of most people. Ha! Great review! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great post and so interesting. Glad I stopped by, and continued good luck with the blog hop!
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