Alive (Generations Trilogy)
by Scott Sigler
Cover Artist: Photo: Lenaer / Shutterstock
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Del Rey Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780553393125
Date: 02 February 2016 List Price $10.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Waking up trapped in a box not knowing your own name is never the way you want to start your day. Having few supplies, friends, or options is just the beginning for Em and her companions. They search for an exit and the truth about themselves.
Em chooses her name and helps the others get free. Reluctantly she takes on a leadership role. Wandering for hours, the only thing they find are long hallways and defiled rooms. It is obvious a big fight took place in the halls. As they explore, members begin to take on specific roles. There doesn’t seem to be a reason for this. But further exploration will let the group led by Em know just how difficult their path will be. The group dynamics are well done. The characters strive to be more, and some are darker than first expected.
This is a young adult novel with the main characters all being in their teens. It fits in with some of the recent future dystopias that have been popularized into television shows. Alive is science fiction at its classic best. The Golden Age saw many of these stories. Some set on earth, others on far away worlds. The struggle to understand and survive is a basic human motivation. Like The 100 and Revolution the young adults are thrust into leadership roles before they may be ready.
Out of respect to the author's wishes, I will pass on greater comparative novels as that might give away more of the plot than requested. Readers will need to pick up Alive and explore the adventure themselves. It is worth the time. I blew through the novel in a few hours as the action kept my attention, and I wanted to see how it would all turn out.
This is a stand-alone novel and I enjoyed it. I often praise stand-alone novels, because I believe that they are part of science fiction's true core. A story that engages a reader with a complete arc between the covers. Sigler did not add a lot of filler, this kept the pace up and the action focused on moving the plot forward.
My first experience with Scott Sigler was his podcast of Earthcore. He has progressed as a writer since then. His characterization is one area where he has improved. At times some of his Earthcore characters seemed shallow. Although, I must admit to saying “ALIVE" in a deep voice a few times similar to how the title of Earthcore was constantly hammered out with the end of each segment of the podcast. I laugh, but it was memorable and made me want to try something else by him.