Friday, May 30, 2014

Review: Sekret by Lindsay Smith

Title: Sekret
Author: Lindsay Smith
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Macmillan via NetGalley
Goodreads | The Reading Room

An empty mind is a safe mind.

Yulia's father always taught her to hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive the harsh realities of Soviet Russia. But when she's captured by the KGB and forced to work as a psychic spy with a mission to undermine the U.S. space program, she's thrust into a world of suspicion, deceit, and horrifying power. Yulia quickly realizes she can trust no one--not her KGB superiors or the other operatives vying for her attention--and must rely on her own wits and skills to survive in this world where no SEKRET can stay hidden for long.
Review by Nara

Well, that was a disappointment. Here I was expecting an action-packed tale with a badass protagonist in a historical set in Soviet Russia with an awesome paranormal twist, but instead I get disappointment after disappointment after disappointment. There's quite a bit of action, no doubt about that, but strangely, despite the abundance of action, I found myself bored. Incredibly bored. Bored with the characters, bored with the plot, bored with the terrible romance, bored with the mystery. Bored.

Probably due to my extreme boredom, I found it pretty difficult to keep track of the characters. I feel like none of the characters were really developed that well- not even our main character Yulia. Couple that with the confusing Russian names and nicknames, and yeah...half the time I had no idea what anyone was talking about. (This might also have been due to the fact that I started skimming the book. My bad.)

God, the romance. It was just so unnecessary. So, at the centre of the semi-love triangle we have Yulia, and the two love interests are Valentin, the dark, mysterious and musically talented boy and Sergei, the buff and "friendly" one. Well...make that one love interest and one totally unnecessary and unwanted person whose only purpose in liking Yulia appears to be so that he can be an annoying obstacle in Yulia's plans to escape the KGB. Seriously Sergei, it's so obvious that Yulia just ain't that into you. Back off, buddy.
"Only one thing is clear to me right now," she says. "Sergei is going to be a problem for our plans." - quote from 79%
No shit, Sherlock. *rolls eyes* It took you until three quarters of the book had gone by to figure that out, eh.

I suppose, had I been less bored, the mystery wouldn't have been too bad. While on the whole, the book was pretty predictable, there were a few twists in there I hadn't seen coming. But rather than being shocked and awed by these twists, my reaction was something like this:

Seriously, by the time the twists were revealed, I had gone past the stage of caring about anything that happened to any of the characters. It was at the point where I just wanted the book to freaking end.

It's been such a long time since I had to write a negative review! I have to admit, I had a hard time trying to keep the snark monster on a leash :P (although clearly it escaped the chains in some sentences haha). That being said, I do see that a few of my GR friends have rated this book relatively highly, so if you like the sound of the blurb, do give Sekret a go.

Didn't like it

Overall: 4/10
Plot: 2/5
Writing: 3/5
World Building: 1/5
Romance: 1.5/5
Characters: 2/5
Cover: 2/5