ARC Review: Children of Icarus
Author: Caighlan Smith
Release Date: August 1, 2016
It is Clara who is desperate to enter the labyrinth and it is Clara who is bright, strong, and fearless enough to take on any challenge. It is no surprise when she is chosen. But so is the girl who has always lived in her shadow. Together they enter. Within minutes, they are torn apart forever. Now the girl who has never left the city walls must fight to survive in a living nightmare, where one false turn with who to trust means a certain dead end.”
Clara – Clara is a daredevil. She has always wanted to go into the labyrinth and become an Icarii. It is part of who she has always wanted to be.
Narrator – She is nameless. She is quiet. She is nothing like Clara who is her best friend. However, when she makes into the labyrinth and survives her first day. She takes on Clara’s name unintentionally.
Elle – I feel so bad for her. She is broken and the labyrinth has done terrible things to her. It has taken from her, and because of this she is not who she was when she came into the labyrinth.
Collin – The actual Clara’s older brother. He is a the leader of a group within the labyrinth. The Labyrinth has changed him as well, he has become heartless and cruel. He is willing to punish people in the group in the worst of ways.
Children of Icarus was a refreshing dystopian YA novel. While the YA dystopian genre is definitely not a new thing, the concept of this book was definitely different than any other dystopian novel that I’ve read. One of the things that I think this book does well is it addresses the fact that a lot of the characters are really screwed up due to this dystopian world, which I’ve found isn’t necessarily true of other dystopian YA novels.
However, the fact that the narrator of the book never has a name drove me nuts. Even after I realized why Smith doesn’t give her name, it still bugged the crap out of me. It was especially frustrating because the story is told completely through her eyes, so there was very little actual dialogue. I read an ARC, so I would be really interested to see the print version of the book to see if it is drastically different.
Reason For Rating
Like I said, this book is like no other dystopian YA novel I’ve read, which was super refreshing. It was also fast-paced and pulled me in immediately. These things are probably what salvaged its rating. My annoyance with the main character not having a name and everything being filtered through her is what brought it down. While I understand why Caighlan Smith did the things she did in regards to the main character it, unfortunately, doesn’t make it any less annoying to read. I give Children of Icarus a B, but if you think you can get past the fact that the main character doesn’t have a name throughout the entire book, and just enjoy the story for what it is then I would definitely recommend it.