Monday, November 7, 2016

Infinity by Jus Accardo

There are three things Kori knows for sure about her life:

One: Her army general dad is insanely overprotective.

Two: The guy he sent to watch her, Cade, is way too good-looking.

Three: Everything she knew was a lie.

Now there are three things Kori never knew about her life:

One: There’s a device that allows her to jump dimensions.

Two: Cade’s got a lethal secret.

Three: Someone wants her dead.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3.5 Stars

Jus Accardo is a new-to-me author. After signing up to read this book, I'd forgotten the premise, didn't reread the blurb, and went into this blindly. I found Infinity to have an intriguing, original concept. I was hooked immediately at the start, with Kori tagging a wall in vivid color. Falling into the story during Kori's narration about her lost mother and military father, I knew I was going to devour the book in one sitting... but the art was never shown again.

Since I hadn't reread the blurb, I got more than I had bargained for. The beginning was a great setup, but it devolved into a mystery in an uncomfortable way. All things that happened never would've happened if anyone would've said anything to Kori. Anything. That's not a mystery. Don't act like Kori is being a too-stupid-to-live damsel in distress when no one informed her there was danger in the first place.

Let's be rational adults protecting a 17-year-old girl – a US General, for goodness sake, couldn't be bothered to say, "Hey, Kori. There's some danger on the base, so I want you to stick close to home with your babysitters."

Since the narrator didn't know, and Kori was telling the story, the reader didn't know. So, for me, at this point, there was a major issue with pacing and the release of information. Kori was frustrated because no one was answering her nonstop questions, yet acting as if she should just know the answers, which meant I was frustrated as a reader, because the author was treating me as if I should just know too.

Yes, it was to lend a mysterious air to the novel. No, I didn't enjoy it, because this created a chaotic vibe, but not in a fast-paced action sort of way. No, readers, it isn't you not connecting the dots – there are no dots given to connect in the beginning of the book. Yes, the info was released eventually. But this is not what a mystery should make. There are true mysteries, then there is the failure to pace the story, to release info in a fluid fashion, as to not bombard the reader with an info-dump after confusing them.

I need to state I am a 38-year-old professional plotter (writer/editor) and avid reader of thousands of books, and this is a young adult book. My point being, a young adult would be beyond confused, unless they just flowed with it and pretended they knew what was happening prior to the info-dump.

Infinity had an intriguing premise, with a lot of plotting that had to come together seamlessly. The world-building was creative and inventive (I won't give away plot points or details – no spoiling the confusion for the sake of mystery for my fellow readers).

Angst. Insta-love. Loyalty. Family. Friendship. Sacrifice. Infinity had all the things young adults seek in a novel, tied up with a star-crossed lovers’ vibe.

Besides my issue with the execution of the pacing of flow of information, a major problem was there would've been no book at all if during the multiple times during the book they actually stopped the bad guy. There was nothing preternatural about him – they just refused to stop him. No less than three people at any given time, two of them trained military personnel, at one point a US General, and no one would stop him. Just stand there and watch him strangle the narrator. "Stop!" they'd shout, or chat with him, but not stop him. They would literally just let him go, then go chase him again, only to let him go, so they could chase him down before he killed more people. "He got away," was a reoccurring line. No, they all let him go.

In the alley, if they stopped him then, (it was three against one), the bracelet would have never even come into play. Yeah, no book if that happened. But as an editor, that means there needed to be a different driving force for the plot.

The reason the bad guy was free, and why he was bad took away from the intriguing premise. I wish that the foundation would've been more rational and thought-out to support the universe created. Kori was holding her own most of the time against him, yet trained professionals just... watched him hurt her, and then let him walk away. Over and over, ensuring there would be a book #2. 'That' is my issue.

As I said, with different execution of the storyline, what is a promising 3.5 star book could've been a solid 5-star read.

Recommended to Young Adult. I'm on the fence on whether or not I wish to read book #2.

Young adult age-range: 14+ due to violence and kissing. Young Adult Science-Fiction/parallel universes.

Jus Accardo spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather's footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. At the last minute, she realized her path lay with fiction, not food, and passed on the spot to pursue writing. Jus is the author of YA paranormal romance and urban fantasy fiction. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Infinity (The Infinity Division #1) by Jus Accardo to read and review.

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