Review: Exodus by Julie Bertagna

Exodus #1

Exodus by Julie Bertagna

Title: Exodus (Exodus #1)
Author: Julie Bertagna
Genre:  Dystopian, Young Adult
Publisher:  Pan MacMillan (6th June 2003)

Mara’s island home is drowning as the ice caps melt and Earth loses its land to the ocean. But one night, in the ruined virtual world of the Weave, Mara meets the mysterious Fox – a fiery-eyed boy who tells her of sky cities that rise from the sea. Mara sets sail on a daring journey to find a new life for herself and her friends – instead she discovers a love that threatens to tear her apart . . .

Rating: *
(1 star)

Exodus is the first book in Julie Bertagna’s Exodus trilogy in which the Earth is slowly drowning, and the human population is fighting to stay alive.

I’m going to preface this review by stating that I did not enjoy reading this book at all.

I picked this book up from my local Waterstones because I thought the blurb sounded really interesting. I also really liked the cover. However, I just could not get into this book – and I tried really hard to. To start with, I didn’t find the book memorable. This meant every time I put the book down I forgot what I’d read – however, once I picked it up I did get back into the story pretty quickly, I just forgot it again as soon as I had to take a break.

Mara was not a stand out character for me, to be honest I didn’t particularly like her. She wasn’t whiny or anything like that, but there wasn’t really a heroine vibe to her in my opinion – I got the sense that she only did what she did because she had to do it, not because it was the right thing to do or anything like that.

As far as the plot of this book goes, the blurb pretty much says it all. There were no real twist, or surprises. Unless you count unwelcome ones. The blurb hints about a romance but I totally forgot about this as it does not appear for a good two-thirds of the way into the book. Then it comes somewhat out of the blue. I’m all for twists and surprises, but not when they feel like they’re hooks to make me want to read the next book in the trilogy.

I also had several issues with the world building, the most pressing one being the lack of an explanation about anything. Why did the water rise? The ice caps melted, but why did they melt and why did they stop melting and then restart melting when the book starts? Also I was a bit confused about how things were powered like the Weave. There is the mention of solar power for Myra’s device, but how is the Weave itself powered when there are no fossil fuels, there’s little space to have solar panels and there’s no mention of wind or wave power. I’m a little confused. I like explanations.

I really wanted to enjoy this book, but I didn’t and that makes me kinda sad. I think this is the kind of book you can only enjoy if you’re not too fussed by the details and/or if you can like the main character. Unfortunately neither of those statements applied to me.

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