Sunday, March 13, 2016

Book Review | The Syndicate by Sophie Davis

Title: The Syndicate
Author: Sophie Davis
Publication: March 1st 2016 by Sophie Davis Books
Series: Timewaves Book One
Pages: 586
Genre: Young Adult; Time-Travel
Copy: Gifted in exchange for an honest review
Summary: In a future where time travel has been outlawed, a black market exists for anyone with the money, connections, and nerve to request items from days past. As a Runner for one of the underground syndicates that now controls the timewaves, Stassi 2446-89 has seen it all: the fall of Rome, the rise of Hitler, the end of democracy, the establishment of time tourism, and the devastating consequences of it. Her job is to seamlessly slip through the past, in search of items of value to the syndicate's clientele.  Stassi's next assignment takes her to Paris in the 1920’s, in search of a lost manuscript by one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers. She and her partner, Gaige, are swept up in the City of Light during the height of fashion and culture—as alluring a locale as they’ve ever visited. But a seedier side of life lurks beneath the glamorous façade, and the pair quickly learns this run is more dangerous than any of their previous missions.  Because history isn’t playing out as it should be—a first for the syndicate. When the stakes are raised and it becomes a matter of life or death, Stassi and Gaige must ultimately decide how far they’re willing to go to ensure the future as they know it.

Starting with the plot, I thought it was pretty well-done.  The beginning starts out with the MC, Stassi, on a mission to retrieve a letter.  We find out that Stassi is a runner, and she goes back in time to different places to steal ancient artifacts.  She then brings them back to the present (which is 2446) to be sold to different buyers.  It's like a black market for valuable objects from the past.

The beginning started out very strong, and it did a very good job of pulling me in.  I really like when books start out with lots of action, so I was quickly sucked into the story.  However, it slowed down pretty fast after the first couple of chapters.  This did put me off a little, as I was expecting a lot of action based on the first chapter.  But once I got past that slow part, I had no problem getting back into the story.

As for the characters, I really liked Stassi.  She's witty, clever, and a strong female lead.  I really enjoyed reading from her POV, and I liked how she dealt with the situations that she was put in.  I also really liked her friendship with Gaige and Molly.  I LOOOVED Charles.  His relationship with Stassi was so cute, and I can't wait to see them in the next books!!

There were a few really small things that all added up and made me rate this books a 4 instead of a 5.  One of these things is the cursing.  Okay, I get it.  A lot of YA authors don't want to use bad words in their books because it limits the audience.  A lot of younger kids read YA, as well as people who just don't like to see cussing in books.  So I get that authors like to leave these words out.  And that's fine by me.  I'm seventeen and I don't cuss that often.  It happens.  It's believable.  However, what's not believable is a 17-year-old saying words like "frack" instead of "fuck" and "shant" instead of "shit".  I mean, really?!?!  There was a point where one of the characters literally said "bullshanter".  BULLSHANTER.  I'm sorry, but I had to put the book down for a couple of seconds to recover from reading that.  If you want to make your books PG, please just leave the cussing out.  PLEASE.

Another small thing that got me was random things/phrases that were repeated throughout the books.  I don't know if other people notice this kind of stuff, but it drives me insane.  For instance, in this book, the MC kept mentioning throwing pillows at people.  The first time, it was a really cute and funny scene.  You know, the cute friends who get mad and affectionately throw pillows at each other kind of thing.  But then, it started happening like every chapter.  I swear, there were at least 10 different times when Stassi either threw a pillow at someone or thought about throwing a pillow at someone.  WHAT IS HER OBSESSION WITH THROWING PILLOWS?!?!?   By the last few chapters I was ready to throw a pillow at her head just to get her to stop talking about throwing pillows at people's head.  Augh.

I'm sorry but I just had to rant about that.  But cursing and repeating aside, I really did enjoy reading this book.  Like I said, it was only small things that made me give the 4 stars, but I still really liked the characters and the storyline.  Although I did kind of see the ending coming, I thought it was the perfect segway into book two.  I definitely want to see what happens next to Stassi and all of the other characters (as long as she stops talking about throwing pillows), and I'm looking forward to reading the next book!