Author: Malorie Blackman
Publisher: Random House Children's (Doubleday)
Date of Publication: June 2013
Source: For review via NetGalley
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I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley, via the publisher in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you!
After absolutely devouring the Noughts and Crosses series last year, and various other books by Blackman over the years, I was expecting a great read from this book. Unfortunately, I have extremely mixed views on this particular book; it had an interesting concept but had its negatives.
One thing I noticed was that when I picked it up again, I could barely remember a thing. Yes, I was reading several titles, but I never normally forget a plotline; it just wasn't very memorable in the whole. Secondly, at many points in the story, I wasn't entirely sure what was happening; it hadn't been developed enough, and, sometimes, the storyline jumped and was ultimately kind of flimsy.
Linking on from this, because of the fact that I couldn't remember it, sometimes things happened that were a complete shock or didn't make sense. Not revealing spoilers, this was one quote I had no idea about:-
"Yeah, I already knew about... Brother Simon told me."
There was also a supposed love triangle within the book, but it wasn't so well developed and I couldn't see much of a growing attraction, shall we say, between Kasper and Rhea. Because of this undeveloped triangle, the end was a bit fast and slightly unrelated to the war element; because, it isn't a romance book.
However, onto the positive aspects. The good thing about Noble Conflict was the detail Blackman described everything in; the characters, the action scenes, Kasper's emotions. It also accurately represented war scenes. Of course, Noble Conflict is a dystopia, so the wars weren't the exact same as we know of now; but they were emotionally and physically described so vividly that I could feel my heart breaking.
"A colossal explosion and a licking tongue of
flame erupted in front of the platform..."
As a protagonist, I was unsure of Kasper, particularly because of his do-first, think-later attitude to his roles. I could never tell what he would do next! I did, however, like Dillon, Kasper's best friend, as a funny, interesting, secondary character.
So. With a slightly dragging, unmemorable plot, this was a bit of a disappointment against Blackman's other amazing titles... But it had some beautiful description and great secondary characters, so I'm going to give it 3/5.