Top critical review
It Doesn't Go Anywhere
Reviewed in the United States on May 13, 2015
I just can't finish this series. I've made several attempts. I really wanted to like the books as the world the first book creates has so much potential. The problem is the premise is never explored with any depth. The character motivation is maddeningly arbitrary and lacks reason. The characters themselves are single dimensional; all good, or all bad and there is no development. The protagonist, Tis, is one of the most self absorbed characters I've ever read. When the story opens, she leaves the faction in which she was raised. In this faction she was taught that selfish behavior, even looking at one's reflection in a mirror, is bad. When she leaves the faction, she indulges her curiosity and contemplates herself in a mirror the way a starving woman eats newly discovered food. This annoying self reflection never stops, literally, figuratively, or metaphorically and worst of all, after one and a half books nothing is ever gained by it. Ultimately, Ms. Roth doesn't really have anything to say though at times she teases, for example, "...noise is the refuge of the bereaved and the guilty." After a few moments thought you realize it doesn't mean anything and isn't even true. She has the good idea of a dystopian society with different factions and then beats the pony several times around the track, never really going anywhere.