Book Review: The Lying Planet by Carol Riggs

by - 5:15:00 PM

Title: The Lying Planet
Author: Carol Riggs
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Pages: 285
Release Date: 19 September 2016

From Goodreads: "Promise City. That’s the colony I’ve been aiming for all my life on the planet Liberty. The only thing standing in my way? The Machine. On my eighteenth birthday, this mysterious, octopus-like device will scan my brain and Test my deeds. Good thing I’ve been focusing on being Jay Lawton, hard worker and rule follower, my whole life. Freedom is just beyond my fingertips. Or so I thought. Two weeks before my Testing with the Machine, I’ve stumbled upon a new reality. The truth. In a single sleepless night, everything I thought I knew about the adults in our colony changes. And the only one who’s totally on my side is the clever, beautiful rebel, Peyton. Together we have to convince the others to sabotage their Testings before it’s too late. Before the ceremonies are over and the hunting begins."

Thanks to Entangled Teen for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review!

Okay, I have to admit, I wanted to read this book because of the cover. I mean, can you blame me? This cover is beautiful! The synopsis did catch my attention as well, because this sounded like a recipe for a creepy cult on another planet and I am all about creepy cults, let's be honest. While this did take me a lot longer to read than pretty much all of the books I've read lately, I was pretty happy with the direction that this book took and am hoping there is a sequel in the future!

The Lying Planet follows Jay Lawton, a seventeen-going-on-eighteen year old that lives on the planet Liberty in the safe zone colony of Sanctuary. His whole life has been spent doing good deeds and trying to raise his Testing score in the hopes of getting to go to Promise City once he turns eighteen. But only two weeks before his Testing date, Jay stumbles upon something he never could have imagined that turns his whole world upside down. Now, he has to work to help save the other kids in Sanctuary before their Testing date so that they don't succumb to the same fate of their siblings.

I don't want to give too much away about this book, because I feel like the twist is something that everyone needs to experience for themselves. I will admit that I definitely didn't see it coming and it really got me more interested in the book and the fate of the characters. However, looking back on it now, I feel like it should have been fairly obvious to anyone who was actually paying attention. I had a pretty hard time getting into it at first, and it didn't really pick up for me until about chapter five. Even then, I feel like the pacing of the book was a bit slow. But despite the slow feeling I got, I still enjoyed reading it and I really feel like it's a creative and different young adult science fiction book. 

The character development of Jay was a lot of fun to read about and I feel like it was a really big part of the book. Jay starts off as a rule follower who is determined to make the best score at his Testing in order to go to Promise City and even goes above and beyond his normal duties in order to do better. In honesty, he started off as a relatively boring character and I believe that may have been a reason as to why it took me so long to finish this book. Not because I disliked it, but because I didn't feel Jay was a strong character and he wasn't fun to initially read about. Once he found out the truth about the adults of Sanctuary, he really seemed to step up and grow into this normal rebellious teenager. It was actually quite fun to read about him doing all of these crazy things to reduce his score. His final act of defiance to the Commander was fantastic and had me cracking up at the idea of it. When he finally decided what he was going to do about the Testing and such, I think that he really started to grow as a character. By the end of the book, he was definitely stronger and more independent and I really enjoyed where he ended off as a character.

The plot was something that I felt was pretty unique and was a refreshing change from some of the typical science fiction books that I come across. Again, while I had a hard time getting through it at some points, once the story really got going, I read through it pretty fast and ended up liking it a lot more than I originally thought I would. The writing and world building really added to my experience, and I was able to immerse myself into Jay's world fairly easily. Carol Riggs did a wonderful job adding in little things such as details about the animals that they kept in Sanctuary, little sayings or phrases that were popular among the teenagers. It really brought something extra to the story and allowed me to really dive into the world and feel like I was really on Liberty. I'm very interested to know if there is a sequel because I would love to see the rest of the planet and learn more about its history as well as possibly seeing the lives of others in the different safe zones.

If you're looking for a new take on the YA science fiction genre, The Lying Planet is definitely worth a read. It has a unique plot, very satisfying character development, and descriptive writing that is sure to draw you in and keep you hooked until the last page!

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