Title: I am Traitor
Author: Sif Sigmarsdóttir
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Release Date: September 7th 2017
At the end of the world, who can you trust? The story of one teenager’s fight against an extra-terrestrial invasion. For fans of Michael Grant, Suzanne Collins and Robert Muchamore.
London has been targeted by extra-terrestrial life; large pipes fall from the sky, sucking teenagers up into a world that is entirely unimaginable.
Amy Sullivan surrenders in a quest to save the teenage population. But nobody can prepare her for what’s on the other side of the pipes; a grim and gruelling dystopian world run a specialised government. In order to save the human race, she must literally fight the other species.
Then Amy meets Caesar, a boy who doesn’t seem entirely normal.
Amy must decide what’s more important – saving planet Earth, or following her heart – wherever it might lead.
This is the modern day War of the Worlds with romance.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
I received an ARC of this book free from BKMRK. It in no way affects my views on I am Traitor.
My Thoughts On…
Aliens have arrived in London, and now Amy’s life is in danger. No one knows what to expect from the ships above the Earth but soon they realise they’re after Earth’s teenagers, and anyone between the age of fourteen and nineteen is at risk of being taken. Amy has already lost her brother and her two best friends to the large pipes that fall from the sky, and her parents are determined to protect her no matter the cost. After losing her brother they can’t lose Amy as well.
Amy knows their hopes of leaving London, running with her, will only mean their deaths so she decides to take herself out of the equation. There is a resistance group who have a plan to get Earth’s teenagers back again; all they need is someone to go up to the ship and deliver their message, and as the aliens are only taking teenagers that someone needs to be a teenager. Amy knows being taken is inevitable, the aliens seem to know where every teenager on Earth is, and if she is going to be taken she may as well do whatever she can to ensure everyone will be able to return home again.
However Amy is unprepared for what she finds on the other side of the pipes. Her new existence is life in a camp where the human teenagers have been left to fend for themselves, until one day they are taken by Controllers and never seen again. Amy’s mission is to meet the resistances’ contact and hand over the message, that’s all, but she quickly discovers she’s been left in the dark about everything. Her mission is not what she thought it was, and Amy now needs to decide very quickly who she can trust.
This was a very fast paced story, and there was plenty of action, twists and reveals to keep me interested, but at the beginning I was lost among the time jumps between the chapters and Amy’s diary entries. The diary entries were further forwards than the story was, which made me very confused to the point where I thought Amy had two brothers at one point instead of one. It took a little while to get used to this but when I did it made for some good foreshadowing.
Amy is only fourteen but the aliens arrival, the fear and uncertainty left in their wake, have forced her to grow up beyond her years. She is willing to sacrifice her safety, the chance of temporary escape, in hopes of saving all the teenagers on Earth who have already been taken. She’s scared of the unknown, the aliens and what their plans are for her, but she has to do something because who else is left?
On the surface Amy was a great character, but there was a lot about her development that seemed contrary. Her voice in her journal entries seemed a lot more mature than her voice during the story, and some of her emotions and actions seemed to come out of nowhere, leaving me unable to connect with what she was feeling/doing.
Caesar is someone Amy doesn’t know much about, but he seems to know so much more about the alien invasion than she does, and she remains unsure whether she can trust him. I liked how Amy wasn’t willing to pass all information she had to Caesar blindly. She didn’t know him, didn’t know his motives, so she didn’t trust him with the message she had been given by the resistance. When it comes down to it though Caesar is trying to do the same thing Amy is, protect his people, save them from the aliens, only he has more information to know what he is doing and who to trust.
There were plenty of side characters – Amy brother, her two best friends, and some of the other teenagers in the camp – but they felt too shallow to me, never really given the development they needed to feel more real in my mind. One thing the book did well that I enjoyed reading was showing how people react in times of uncertainty. There were people in the camp willing to sell out their own kind for added benefits, people willing to attack and even kill to improve their own lives.
We get a lot of information on the aliens and what their plans are, but some of it felt like info-dumping. It was all revealed over the course of a few chapters and at times I felt lost in the descriptions. I am Traitor is an interesting concept but there was something lacking in the world when it came to the development of the alien species’, we heard all about them but never really saw them. In this book the description and the world building seemed to be tell rather than show. The way the camps were set out and described was very interesting to read. I read in another review that this book has similarities to the Diary of Anne Frank and the Nazi concentration camps, and in small ways I can see that resemblance.
While I am Traitor was a fast-paced and interesting story there were just a few issues with the world building and the character development for me to rate it any higher than three stars. It was mainly the character development that let it down; the story was told from Amy’s perspective and through her diary entries but I found it hard to connect with her.
What did you think of I am Traitor? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.
All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.