Review: Alive by Scott Sigler

Review: Alive by Scott Sigler Alive by Scott Sigler
Series: The Generations Trilogy #1
Published by Del Rey on July 14th 2015
Pages: 368
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Netgalley

From New York Times bestselling author Scott Sigler comes something utterly new: a gripping sci-fi adventure trilogy in the vein of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner. A group of young adults awake in a mysterious enclosed space with no knowledge of who they are or how they got there…and an indomitable young woman must lead them not only to answers but to survival.

A young woman awakes trapped in an enclosed space. She has no idea who she is or how she got there. With only her instincts to guide her, she escapes her own confinement—and finds she’s not alone. She frees the others in the room and leads them into a corridor filled with the remains of a war long past. The farther these survivors travel, the worse are the horrors they confront. And as they slowly come to understand what this prison is, they realize that the worst and strangest possibilities they could have imagined don’t even come close to the truth.


Who wants to hear a story? Fabulous! When I first heard about Alive, I was intrigued, but not overly excited. I was kind of assuming it was going to be some kind of strange mashup of The Maze Runner, Gone, and The Hunger Games, because basically that’s what the synopsis tried to sell it as. Now, I am sure that for some people, comparison attempts work at enticing them, but for me, they usually do the opposite. So I was intrigued but wary. Clearly, intrigued won out since I am reviewing the book 😉


I told you that little story for a reason: This book is not just some mash-up of those other books. At all! I mean, sure there are a few minor similarities, but absolutely nothing that made me stop and think “well, I have seen that before!”. No, this was certainly original, so don’t let the blurb scare you as it did me!

As the book starts out, we know nothing about what is going on. Nothing. But the key here is, neither do the characters. They are as much in the dark as we are, which makes things kind of fun. The reader is figuring things out, getting clues, learning potential information at the same time as the characters. I was constantly guessing, and I did not have a clue as to what was going to happen next. Literally, around every dark corner was another crazy surprise, and I basically couldn’t put the book down because I needed to know all the thingsIt was the type of book that answered my questions, and then left me with new ones so I was never, ever bored.ezgif-3609172844

But while I was in the dark, I was never overwhelmed or confused. The author managed to have me on the edge of my seat, completely oblivious, but in a way that I still was able to follow when something happened. For me, that is really the mark of a quality fast-paced book, because I can get lost with too much action. I felt that Alive had just the right balance to keep me excited without making me overwhelmed.

As for the characters, it’s hard to really decide how I felt about them because they don’t even know who they are. They are seriously just empty shells who know a few basic facts (some of them incorrect, such as their age), and haven’t a clue who they are or where they came from. Em (the main character) has to figure everything out from scratch, and we get to watch her do so in a really believable way- she is not in any way perfect, but she is trying like hell to survive. I did enjoy watching all the characters’ personalities grow- and they definitely do- as they faced more challenges and started turning into actual people again. So while I didn’t quite know them, there’s a reason, and it isn’t an issue at all.

Another thing I really loved was how vivid the setting was. I really felt like I was in this place, like I could see exactly what the characters were seeing. The setting was not pleasant, but it was incredibly well done, detailed but not annoyingly so, again achieving a fabulous balance.

In fact, there was only one thing that kept me from giving this one the full five stars: the attraction piece. I won’t even go so far as to call it a romance (I mean, these people just met and are trying to you know, stay alive), but sometimes Em would start thinking about being attracted to someone out of the blue, and it was just… odd. Not even being attracted in itself, but focusing on actual beauty and physical traits. I could see being enamored with someone because they’ve been loyal or kind or even skilled. But would you really have the time or inclination to look at some dude’s abs or whatever? Doubtful. ezgif-874475573

Bottom Line: This book is kind of fabulous. It is fast paced, and kept me guessing the entire way through. In fact, when I finished it, my exact response was “next book please!”, because I absolutely must know what happens next. give-it-to-me-gif


What do you think about synopses comparing a book to a popular released book? Does it affect your decision to read it (negatively OR positively)? 

Posted July 6, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review , / 17 Comments

17 responses to “Review: Alive by Scott Sigler

  1. Okay, this sounds amazing. Not only that, I was just watching a book haul on YouTube and this book was mentioned and then I come to your blog and bam, there it is again. It is begging to be bought AND it comes out the day after my birthday! So I’m definitely keeping an eye out for this one! I’m not in the mood to read any dystopian, fantasy books but this one has me hooked and your review sold me.

    • Hahahha it IS good! VERY unique, which in this genre, is hard to do. I was HOOKED. Seriously, had it not been for the weird attraction, it would have been 5 stars, but the “oh wow his chest is so hot” thing really threw me off- but I would DEFINITELY recommend this one!

  2. Your reviews always have this way of convincing me that books are made for me. This is NOT something I would normally read. I would have passed on it, never giving it a second glance. Actually, I DID pass on it. And now… now, you’ve got me questioning that. Because, seriously, you’ve made this book sound pretty darn amazing! I can probably do without the romance bits, but the rest sounds intense, gripping, and definitely something I would like in my life. Great review! 🙂

    • Aw thanks! If it helps, I can point you in the direction of some books I know you WON’T like? 😉 I almost passed on it too actually! But I gave in to my love for dystopian-types, and I am SO glad I did- it’s different than anything else I have read- and some of it is horrifying! But it was so unexpected that it wasn’t just like, for shock value. I really enjoyed it! And SUCH a quick read! I have to go request the next one ASAP!

  3. I’ve been hearing some good buzz about this one. I think comparisons are a double-edged sword that can work for or against a book. I recently came across a book and the synopsis seemed okay but a blurb on the cover compared it to Sarah Dessen. I’m not a Dessen fan so for me that was a turn-off. For good or for bad, I passed on the book based on that comparison. On the flipside, I bought a bought called I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios mainly because the synopsis reminded me of a book called The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry. I read it last year and loved it so in this case the comparison I made was definitely a positive one.

    • Someone else mentioned a recent book being blurbed as a Sarah Dessen comparison and it was VERY much not- maybe Emmy & Oliver? If that’s the one, I promise,, it isn’t, and is SO worth reading 😉

      I don’t know, I mean, I LOVE The Hunger Games (obviously haha) but I don’t want another book LIKE that! I already love that book! i want a NEW book.

  4. Wow, this book sounds pretty good! Personally I don’t like having a comparison in the synopsis because so much of the time it isn’t correct and I’d rather make up my own opinion about which books it’s similar to. I like the idea of having absolutely no idea what’s going on and having to figure it all out along with the characters. Glad you enjoyed Alive and great review!

    • Thanks so much! I agree with you- I don’t want to go into a book with some preconceived notion of what it is “supposed to” be like. Plus, I want a UNIQUE book, not a book like all the other books! Luckily, this one WAS unique 😉

  5. Yeah, comparisons usually turn me off a book too, unless it’s comparison to my favourites (although, I’m pretty immune to the whole Hunger Games comparisons now, thank you publishers for tagging it on to pretty much everything that hints at dystopian.) SO YAY FOR IT ACTUALY BEING ORIGINAL. I love when we don’t know what’s going on (and not in a confusing way) but even better when the characters don’t either. OH OH OH AND THEY DON’T KNOW WHO THEY ARE? EVEN BETTER. RIGHT THOUGH? Seriously, I was reading The Good Girls (The Perfectionists #2) and they’re possibly being framed for murder and everything, but oh let’s not forget about those perfect abs! And I mean, come on, characters! YOU’RE TRYING TO STAY ALIVE.

    It doesn’t affect my decision to read it or not, it’s just makes me a little wary (especially the popular ones lately) but it does put it on my radar, so it’s a good thing. 😀

  6. ohmy, you just made me more excited for this book! I thought that synopsis sounds really good (even though I dislike synopsis that compares a book to another). This sounds like a gripping mystery read. I also like the sound of you, along with the characters, being unaware of anything. Great review!! 😀

  7. Love this review. Of course you read mine, so you know I feel the exact same way. I was really expecting a copycat of Maze Runner, but I requested it anyway. Man, I am I glad I did. It was so incredibly original!! I am already excited about the sequel!

  8. I have been hearing a lot of good things about this book and now you have me curious. I think I would be just as frustrated (like I always am) at the beginning where we know absolutely nothing. But that will definitely keep me reading. And I am so glad to hear this one was original!

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