Book Review: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber
Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Book: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow
Series: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #1
Author: Mary Weber
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Page Count: 20 CDs
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Cover Artist: —
My Rating: ★★½
I’ve seen a lot of reviews on this book about how confusing it was, and how readers felt blindsided by the plotline. I’d like to highlight that I had similar feelings, especially the further the plot advanced.
Before I get into my review, here’s a short synopsis:
Set in a futuristic world, post-World War, corporations in alliance with an alien race orbiting Earth govern the world. Children of one of the heads of the Earth’s Fantasy Fighting arena, Sofi and her brother Shilo are forced to compete in the bloody virtually Colosseum-style games.
A techie, Sofi operates the game behind the scenes, navigating her brother through the physical portion. When the games go awry, and a bomb decimates the battlefield, Shilo goes missing. Sofi believes he is still alive, while everyone else doesn’t. Shilo’s data is wiped clean and there are no trails to figure out where he’s gone. But Sofi has vivid dreams, giving her glimpses to where Shilo may have been taken to; the ice planet of the Delonese.
Needing help from a foreign ambassador to get to the planet, Sofi must enlist Miguel’s help, who is not only an ambassador but an ex-lover. Tensions high, the two must figure out how to get past their past in order to find Shilo, and to escape the blackmailers hunting Miguel.
This book took a turn that I was completely not expecting. I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way, however, the way the book began and the way that it ended didn’t flow well. I’d like some more clarification and answers to some of the big questions enticing the reader throughout! There is no doubt that the author took a stab at creating a creative plot. However, without necessary flow, it makes it a confusing read. Part of the frustration comes from the “romance,” rather, past-romance between Sofi Snow and Miguel that keeps trying to take center stage when it needs to stop trying so hard. Their strained relationship creates more tension for the plot, but also creates another backstory that isn’t hashed out well, if at all.
Now, I know this story takes a lot from The Hunger Games trilogy.
And that was a huge drawback for me especially in the first quarter of the book. While Sofi doesn’t necessarily remind me of Katniss, Miguel is a spitting image of Finnick in the way he acts and obtains information from those around him. Sofi, too, is very promiscuous (and I’m not sure why she needs to be) from what seems to be out of her own satisfaction. Despite these resemblances, I thought the idea that the world post WWIV being run by massive corporations was creative, and even possible. I like when futuristic worlds are created to be tangible, not just fantastic. Considering how much pull some companies and industries have in today’s world, it creates the idea that something like this could happen.
The interesting part is the addition and appearance of the alien Delonese race and their planet which rotates the Earth like an extra moon. They align themselves with the governing parties to become allies of Earth. Despite this, their foreign appearance doesn’t really come on the scene until later in the story.
As the plot moves on, the similarities to The Hunger Games are fewer and further between. The biggest draw-back in the world building is the physical description of it—because there hardly any. The story jumps from scene to scene, with little description given to the reader about where they were and are. Moving from scene to scene gave me vertigo.
The characters themselves are unrealistic. Both Sofi and Miguel are situated in roles that don’t seem realistic for teenagers to be in. Perhaps Sofi could be some tech genius—they are out there. But Miguel? He’s a foreign diplomat at the age of sixteen, already highly esteemed, as well as a well-known playboy. At sixteen. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think it’s plausible.
The last 80% of this book is where I started to get interested. However, I found its finale to be nondescript, rushed, and again, without explanation. How does Sofi really evaporate? Yeah, I’m not sure either. I hope we find out in the sequel. If I don’t get some answers there, then I won’t continue on with the series if more is planned to come.
These numbers may not be 100% accurate, as I took notes anytime I came across something.
Sexual Content: Nothing explicit, yet “sleeping around” is talked about a lot.
Violence: Moderate – there are the “games” in the beginning where several characters die in rather gross ways. Although they aren’t graphic, the implications are there.