ARC Review: I am Traitor

I am Traitor


Title: I am Traitor

Author: Sif Sigmarsdóttir

Series: N/A

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

Release Date: September 7th 2017

Rating:

Three Stars

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…

…The Plot

“No one has any answers to the questions that the silence arouses. No one knows why. No one knows what will happen. The only thing I know for sure is this: There is nothing I can do except wait for my turn.
They took my brother. My brother is gone. So is Matilda. I think I might be next.”

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.

“They would be putting themselves at risk, they would be putting Emma at risk, just to try and save me. To try and save me from something they don’t stand a chance against.
There’s only one thing I can do. They’ve given me no choice. I’m taking myself out of the equation.”

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.

…The Characters

“These were seriously strong and brave people. I am neither of those things. I can hardly do a single push-up, and I still prefer to have my bedside light on when I go to sleep to fend off the dark.
I want to go home.”

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.

“I told the others about Caesar. About his words of warning. I didn’t know what to think. Should we be more careful about whom we trusted?”

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.

“The others hated my idea. But I finally managed to persuade them. Deep down, they knew that we didn’t have a choice.”

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.

…The Setting

“I was trying to imagine where they were taking us in an effort to prepare myself for whatever would come next when we suddenly came to a halt. We were there. We’d reached the Camp.
Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw.”

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.

10 thoughts on “ARC Review: I am Traitor

  1. Oh, the time jumps you talk about would be confusing for sure! And I’m sorry to hear about Amy’s character, it’s hard to fully enjoy a novel if you don’t connect to the character as much. I don’t think I’ll be picking this up, but I enjoyed this review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Especially considering there was no date to let me know it was a time jump. Normally in diary entries you have a date at the top but there just wasn’t in this book, and it took me too long to realise what was happening. Yeah and considering this book was told in first person POV it made my lack of connection to Amy a little more damaging you know?
      Thanks Analee. 🙂 ❤️

      Like

    1. Overall it was a great concept, and the plot certainly had me hooked, but the world building and characters just really let it down for me.
      Thanks so much Lashaan, and yeah in the end this was an interesting book that I enjoyed reading so definitely not a complete loss. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve actually never heard of this book! But it sounds interesting enough. I usually like dystopians and alien invasions (that’s why I picked up The 5th Wave). And I love it when those two things are combined! Although, it’s a shame that the character development is not as well-done is it could have been. Characters are always the most important aspect of any story, so it’s always a disappointing when you find it hard to connect with the characters, especially the main characters. Also, info dumps really bother me. That’s ineffective world-building, I think. Too much telling and not enough showing. But it sounds like this one has potential, if there is to be a second one! Awesome review, Beth! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was quite an interesting read, and I think I’ve seen I am Traitor compared to The 5th Wave (could just be my imagination though) so if this sounds like the kind of book you’d enjoy I’d say check it out. There are some good reviews for it out there.
      Yeah they really are, and in this book I just couldn’t connect with them, sometimes it almost seemed as if things were too easy, things fell into place too well for them you know? I wasn’t worried for any of them because it didn’t seem like anything could touch them.
      Yeah world building in fantasy books is really important for me, and it was somewhat lacking in this book. If there is a second book in the series I may check it out. This was a good start and you never know my issues with the first book could improve by the time the second is released. 🙂
      Thanks Azia! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Might have to read a few more positive reviews for it before I give it a go. I’m attempting to reduce my TBR, so I’m trying to avoid adding books I might end up taking off anyways haha
        Ah, that’s always a bit frustrating, isn’t it? Having an untouchable/invincible main character. Makes it much harder to relate with.
        Yeah. A second book might do this book some good, it seems. If there IS a second book, I hope the author manages to address some of those issues 🙂 Or if anything, continues to support a cool concept with strong writing and stronger character development.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If there are other positive reviews out there definitely give them a read and see what they think of the book. I get what you mean about needing to/trying I reduce your TBR list though it something I should look at attempting as well. 🙂
        Yeah, and you don’t connect to the story as much either when you don’t fear for the characters lives.
        I hope so, I’d be interested in reading the second book because like I said it was an interesting concept and story, and the character development wasn’t anything that couldn’t be improved. I’ve read books worse than this that have turned around later in the series. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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