America Pacifica – Anna North (DNF)

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After North America has succumbed to a second Ice Age,  a lucky few immigrate to the island of America Pacifica to escape the brutal cold.  Some decades later, the island inhabitants are crowded, have to get creative with their food supplies, and are experiencing an increasing divide between rich and poor.  Darcy lives with her mother, a pearl diver, and both work long hours to eek out a small living.  When Darcy’s mother goes missing, Darcy works with a well-known grifter to find her.

I have never not finished a book for this blog, and I think there are only about two other books that I have not finished before.  But, I just could not care about anything in this book.  I picked it up originally intrigued by the ice age angle, but it was not at all what I expected.

While the technical skills in the writing were fine, Anna North needs to work on continuity in a novel.  One minute Darcy’s leg was broken and she had to be carried, the next she’s walking fine and jumping out of a window into garbage. There were other instances in the first 100 pages that did not quite fit, but that was the instance that most stuck out to me.

The main problem I had with this novel was the lack of focus on the main character.  That makes no sense, right?  On the first page, we are given a long physical and interpretative description of a small character that you don’t see again within the first 100 pages.  But if you tried to ask me what Darcy looked like, or even a small question about her personality, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.  The lack of information on Darcy makes the whole emotion in the story fall flat.  You know nothing much about your main character, she has almost no personality, so how are you supposed to connect to the events in the story, care about her finding her mother, if you don’t even care about Darcy?

This was the main problem with the entire book, really, and it’s a trend I have noticed that disturbs me a bit.  Without actual character development, you are left with a bunch of empty statements about society, love, or simply a crappy story.  I know that this happens more often in the YA market, but I could not totally put America Pacifica into that market.  I think Anna North tried to make it an adult book and wanted to make some big societal statement, but for that to resonate you need to include actual humans in your book.

Have you read America Pacifica or a book with an incredibly shallow main character?  Do you find that makes the book unenjoyable or lacking?

Rating: 2/10 (DNF)


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