Saturday, January 04, 2014

Review: Noble Conflict

Years after a violent war destroyed much of the world, Kaspar has grown up in a society based on peace and harmony. But beyond the city walls, a vicious band of rebels are plotting to tear this peace apart. It is up to the Guardians - an elite peacekeeping force - to protect the city, without ever resorting to the brutal methods of their enemy.

When Kaspar joins the Guardians, he has a chance encounter with a rebel - a beautiful girl named Rhea. Haunted from that moment on by strange visions and memories - memories that could only belong to Rhea - he realises he hasn't been told the truth about what the rebels really want, and what he's really fighting for.

Author: Malorie Blackman
Publisher: Random House Children's (Doubleday)
Date of Publication: June 2013
Pages: 357
Source: For review via NetGalley
Goodreads | Amazon

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. 


  1. I LOVE Malorie Blackman! I have this one on my TBR pile so I really must give it a try. And I need to finish the Noughts and Crosses series... ah why are there so many good books out there that I need to read?!

    It's a shame you didn't enjoy this one as much as you hoped. Confusion is books definitely puts me off so I can understand why you'd find the storyline flimsy. I didn't really get the gist from the synopsis to be honest so I guess I'll have to find out for myself. Great review! :)

    1. Noughts and Crosses is amazing, and I read some of her younger titles as as kid... Finish N&C ASAP! The story was quite confusing and I think that was the main reason it all fell apart for me. Thanks Zoe! :)


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