ARC Review: Paradigm by Ceri A. Lowe

Title: Paradigm
Author: Ceri A. Lowe
Genre: YA, dystopian, post-apocalyptic
Publisher/Publication Date: Bookouture / June 13, 2014
How Did I Get It? NetGalley
Format? eARC

Synopsis from Goodreads: What if the end of the world was just the beginning?

Alice Davenport awakens from a fever to find her mother gone and the city she lives in ravaged by storms – with few survivors.

When Alice is finally rescued, she is taken to a huge underground bunker owned by the mysterious Paradigm Industries. As the storms worsen, the hatches close.

87 years later, amidst the ruins of London, the survivors of the Storms have reinvented society. The Model maintains a perfect balance – with inhabitants routinely frozen until they are needed by the Industry.

Fifteen-year-old Carter Warren knows his time has come. Awoken from the catacombs as a contender for the role of Controller General, it is his destiny to succeed – where his parents failed.

But Carter soon discovers that the world has changed, in ways that make him begin to question everything that he believes in. As Carter is forced to fight for those he loves and even for his life, it seems that the key to the future lies in the secrets of the past…

Amazon | Barnes and NobleBook DepositoryGoodreads

Let me put up a little disclaimer right here: the average rating for this book on Goodreads is 4.0. So everything I say hereafter is my personal opinion, and I’m most likely pulling a black sheep in my lower rating of this book.

To sum up my thoughts: I felt neutral. Really, I didn’t actively dislike the book, or actively love the book. I just felt very bland about the whole thing. And really, I was… bored. I hate saying that, but I just couldn’t connect with the story at all. The best way for me to do this is by itemizing it all – bullet points save the day!

The Bad: 

  • I’ve already said this, but let me elaborate: I couldn’t connect with the story. It just seemed a bit flimsy, and it progressed without enough detail. As far as the plot, I felt like I was Gus Waters – “I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up.” It was this building and building of tension and foreshadowing and nothing really happening until the last 75%. The first 50% was the worst; it was all exposition that really didn’t even give me a good idea of what the setting or problem was. And maybe that works, since this is a trilogy, so there will be a lot of open ends to deal with later on, but at least for Paradigm, I was uncomfortable and moderately irked.
  • Paradigm is written in dual POV, 3rd person. I struggle with dual POVs in general, but can adapt to them if needed. But throw in the 3rd person narration, and I was completely disconnected. I just didn’t care for either of these characters – Alice or Carter. The only impression of Carter that I got was that he was really arrogant, so I definitely liked Alice a bit more.

There isn’t much else that was negative, but those two hold so much weight for my final rating that it really sunk everything down. But here’s what was good:

  • The concept. I’m always for a good dystopian, despite the whole “the genre is dead” thing. Lowe had a great idea going – pondering the question of surviving versus living. It’s a personal favorite question of mine, and I really liked seeing it brought about the way it was.
  • I was a bit blind-sided by the ending; I didn’t see it coming. Kudos to Lowe for leading me on with a red herring and ripping it all out at the very end!

Overall, I just couldn’t get into the story. It was less of a “something really bugged me” and more of a “it’s not you, it’s me” sort of situation. In this case, with Paradigm, I definitely recommend reading it for yourself, or at least reading some other reviews before making your final decision. Like I said – I have a feeling I’m black sheeping over here!

My Final Rating:

Two stars

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5 thoughts on “ARC Review: Paradigm by Ceri A. Lowe

  1. Is it just me or is that cover suspiciously like the Divergent fiery/watery circle?? I skipped this one because I thought it sounded a bit generic. I’m glad I did! I’m not a fan of unrelatable 3rd person narrative. 3rd has to be done really really well, for me, before I can connect!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!

  2. Hmmm, I might skip this one. I’m a bit over dystopia, and don’t want to waste my time on anything other than the absolute best of the genre now. (Like Allegiant. I’ve had it on hold for months and finally IT’S MINE! 😛 )
    But I agree with Cait – that cover is really making me think Divergent. Not cool.

  3. Well written review!
    Sounds like it is an interesting concept that might have been too worried about turning the story into a trilogy vs providing a good initial story.

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