Gravity by Melissa West
Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release date: October 30th, 2012
Series: The Taking #1
Source: e-ARC provided by the publisher
Reviewed by: Stéphanie
In the future, only one rule will matter:
Don’t. Ever. Peek.
Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.
Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.
Don’t. Ever. Peak. That’s what caught my attention when I first heard of this book a while back. For some reason, that and the synopsis made me anticipate the release for months ahead of time. Now, after having read an ARC of the book, I’m still waiting for the release date because it feels like missed out on a lot of information by reading the advanced copy. I now have the urge to read the final edition because I really enjoyed the story, but it seems like something was missing from the story.
In the ARC, the story lacked a lot of world building and character details. I would have liked to have known more about the Taking, something that every Ancient does to their assigned human at midnight each night. It would have been nice to have more information, like why the Taking needs to happen, and why it needs to be done every night. Obviously, the Taking is when you’re not supposed to peek, and the main character Ari does just that, when one night, she can’t find the patch that prevents her from seeing who hovers above her for the Taking.
Also, more information about the Ancients would have been welcome. This alien breed that travels through trees and have control of plant life seems like an interesting species but very little is revealed about them in the ARC. More character development would have made the romantic relationship between the main characters, Ari and Jackson, more believable. Like in many YA novel, they fell in love too fast and I strongly believe the relationship should have been investigated a little more before there was any mention of love.
Reassuringly, the author has informally advised me that some changes will be made to the final edition and the revisions will enhance and polish the ARC I ended up with. In a way, it’s frustrating that I can’t tell you guys what I thought of the final edition, but you’ll have to take my word for it. Despite the negative aspects of the ARC, the story remains an interesting one and and I truly enjoyed reading about Ari and Jackson. Ari seems like a wonderful character, that is dedicated to helping the Ancients survive this war that could lead to a genocide. Her military training has made her the strong female that she is and she’s the reason the book kept me reading well into the night.
The right combination of aliens, science-fiction and dystopia makes GRAVITY very original. Personally, I like the fact that Melissa West didn’t add spaceships to her novel. Aliens and science-fiction don’t necessarily need them and it’s refreshing that she found a different way of having the alien characters travel to and from earth by other means. The story ends with a mean cliffhanger, which has me not only anticipating this book at the end of the month, but also anticipating the release of the other two books of the trilogy.
I leave you with these two questions: Do you think you’ll resist the temptation of this book? Will you peek?