Review: Peaceful Genocide by J.A. Reynolds

Review: Peaceful Genocide by J.A. Reynolds

Review: Peaceful Genocide by J.A. Reynolds
peaceful Genocide by J.A. Reynolds

Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publication Date: November 24th 2013
Format: eBook
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Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Mitzi and Deuce can recall how many drops of water were on a leaf from a rainstorm five years ago and conversations from last week, month, or year. They have the ability to remember every second of everyday—since birth.

This gift has blessed Mitzi with a history of being sexually assaulted by researchers and abused by her own parents. She trusts no one. Likes no one. Deuce, however, is a high school standout. His gift has made him a superstar on the football field and his memory promises him endless opportunities.

When they both end up at an Alzheimer’s research facility under false proviso, they quickly realize this place isn’t what it seems to be. They endure crazy military-style tests, are forcefully drugged, and complete real-life simulations that haunt them.

Mitzi and Deuce have no idea what the researchers want to do with them or their memories. But one thing is clear: the researchers will go to any lengths to get what they want.

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Review

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I have wanted to read this book for months. The author was kind enough to give me a copy about three moths ago, but right when I was about to start reading, I found out that I had the opportunity to take part in the blog tour for the book so I decided to wait and finish the giant stack of books that I needed to review first. All the waiting caused me to anticipate the day when I would finally be able to read this book, and I was afraid that it couldn’t possible live up to my expectations. I was partially right because this book exceeded my expectations!

Mitzi, Deuce, Ralph, and Paisley are four teenagers who have perfect memories. I don’t mean they have photographic memories and can retain a lot of information, I mean they have perfect memories. The can recall everything that they have ever seen, heard, or experienced their entire lives. Everythig from the day they were born, to what the weather was like on their first day of school has been stored in their mind, and they can call upon that memory whenever they want.

I’m going to talk a little about Paisley and Ralph first because although they were important, they were really secondary characters and I will have a lot less to say about them than Mitzi and Deuce so we might as well get them out of the way now.

Ralph was very somber at times, he has suffered a lot in his young life, and he is also the only member of the group that had a truly supernatural ability. They all had their own strengths besides their memories, but what Ralph can do was straight out of a science fiction movie. I kept wondering why the people who were studying them didn’t focus more on Ralph’s other ability more than the fact that he had a perfect memory because they could have done some real damage with a bunch of Ralphs running around and doing their bidding. I also thought that Ralph was the most well-adjusted of the group. Yes, he has gone through too much in his young life, but he had a better handle on his abilities than the other three.

Paisley was both a firecracker and a sweetheart. She seemed to always be about to jump out of her skin with excitement, and she was so thoughtful with and protective of her new friends. Of course she connected with Mitzi more than the boys, but she bonded strongly with all three of them. She also bore the burden of not only her memory but a secondary ability, and let’s just say that the girl should stay far away from all sugar and caffeine products because she has no need for them. Although their friendships formed in a short time, every group of friends needs a heart, the person that makes everyone smile and is just easy to be around and care about, and I have no doubt that Paisley filled that role in this group.

Now it’s time for the main characters:

Let’s see, what can I say about Deuce that will do him justice? He was far from the perfect hero and even farther from the anti hero, he was simply a good person. Unlike Mitzi, he willingly signed up to be a test subject in what he was told is Alzheimer research. Mitzi was constantly trying to convince him that something strange was going on, but he is a jock through and through, and therefore, built to follow instructions and respect/obey authority without question. This quality is both frustrating and admirable. I love the way Deuce is so ready and willing to get the job done properly and how he thinks before he acts, but there were a couple of times when I wanted to smack some sense into him and yell, “THERE IS SOMETHING FREAKY GOING ON!”  Deuce was far from dumb, and he definitely questioned some of the odd things that happened to them, but he needed to have solid proof before he was willing to take action. Like I said, “admirable and frustrating”.

Mitzi was the character I got to know the best. She has endured some awful things. People are always victimizing her, but somehow she never came off as a victim. She has endured every type of trauma, mental, physical, and, worse of all, sexual, but she still manages to be a fighter. She could tell immediately that something wasn’t right with the “research” that her parents had once again signed her up for. She was use to being a lab rat so she knew that what they were being put through was a lot more than just memory test for Alzheimer’s research. Because they covered their tracks so well and had an answer for every question she could come up with, Mitzi often wondered if she was misinterpreting the things that were taking place because of her bad history with those types of situations. But her gut kept telling her that something wasn’t right, and she trusted her gut, thankfully.

There was a romance between Deuce and Mitzi in this book, but it didn’t dominate the storyline. Deuce and Mitzi have a very well-developed relationship that builds over time. When they meet, there is an instant and mutual fascination that is overshadowed by how much they annoy each other. She is the weird sort of gothic girl with the blue hair and bad attitude, and he is the clean-cut jock who is ready to do as he is told. They couldn’t be more opposite, and they also could not be more perfect for each other. Deuce is so patient and calm and that balances out Mitzi’s impulsive and distrusting nature. The only way I can describe the way he deals with her is how a vet deals with a scared and injured animal. She could strike out at him at any moment, but he just continues to speak to her in a soft voice until she lets her guard down long enough to allow him to help. He never once tired of trying to get her to trust him, and that is something that she had never experienced. However, this relationship isn’t one-sided and Mitzi balanced him out as well. She pushed him to think outside the box for once in his life and ask questions.

I always assumed that the major component of being a genius was being able to remember a large amount of information, and I’m sure that helps, but this book highlights the fact that memory and intelligence are two very different things. Deuce is not dumb, but he has focused on football most of his life rather than academics so some the test that he takes as a part of this study take him out of his element. He really shines when it come to the physical stuff and thinking on his feet, but planning and tactical situations are not his strong suit. Well, at least they weren’t before Mitzi showed up and started challenging him. Their relationship is built on a strong foundation of trust, and I was almost relieved that they actually found each other in the midst of all that chaos.

Along with the relationships and character developement, I also enjoyed the mystery and suspense in this novel. everything was well thought out, and I could tell that a lot of time and planning went into the plot. The clues were all there so I really have no excuse for not figuring more things out than I did. There were a few puzzles that I put together right before they were revealed, but I’m pretty sure the author meant for the reader to be let in on those secrets by the time I figured them out so I can’t really brag. The truth behind the “research study” that the kids are taking part in was very chilling. You might be wondering about the title of the novel because I did. The title was the thing that made me look into reading the book in the first place. I mean, what the heck is a Peaceful Genocide? how is that even possible? Well, trust me when I tell you it is not only possible, but the whole idea is evil genius!

I enjoyed this book immensely, it dealt with some heavy issues, but never went into graphic details. If you are like me and squeamish about sexual abuse being apart of the heroines back story, I will warn you that the author doesn’t shy away from the pain that Mitzi is still enduring because of what happened to her, but there are no detailed descriptions of the abuse. At most you experience how she felt when she was abused, not what she went through. There was a very pulse pounding cliffhanger at the end of this book so I am looking very forward to continuing this story!

Because of language, violence, and sexual content, I would recommend this book for ages 16 and up

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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Author Biography

About J.A. Reynolds

Writer. Pseudo Super Hero. J.A. Reynolds lives in the Midwest with a normal family, raising a normal daughter, with some abnormal pets.

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