I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!
Paradigm is the first book in the Paradigm series.
The cover really looks like it's stolen from Divergent and honestly, even after the book I don't get the cover. Perhaps that the water half would refer to The Storms, but what would the fire be? Is that how they depicted invisible radiation or am I missing something?
Paradigm consists of two stories, one of which was really interested. It follows Alice through the destruction of London, and later after she's saved and trying to get a better life than she used to have. The apocalypse itself left me with quite some questions. Okay, The Storms seem pretty bad, but it's hard to believe that no one would make it home during them. Where did they came from? Climate change perhaps, but I won't believe that a five year long storm just came out of nowhere! How come only so few people get saved? I mean there must have been higher grounds somewhere?
But besides these annotations on the actual apocalypse it's an interesting story on the start of a Dystopian society. It shows early on that some people really want to do something good, while others already seem to have ulterior motives even at the beginning. Alice herself is far from perfect but interesting to read about. Why a company would build this underground world 'just in case' remains a question unanswered...
On the other hand there's the story of Carter. And this, unfortunately is the same old Dystopian YA all over again. He starts as the perfect dystopian person, absolutely sure he's about to rule the society (because that's a job best left to a sixteen-year-old for sure). He's arrogant and unlikeable but at least he fits into the program. But his opinions change 180 degrees in record time. (We've all read it before, haven't we?) He's a special snowflake even in a sea of special snowflakes. Perhaps needless to say, I liked this story less because it was so much less original.
The worldbuilding didn't make sense either at times. I never really got to understand why they froze bodies in in the first place. I'm willing to believe they froze Carter because they thought he would be more useful later when they needed a new Controller General. But why freeze other people, the one they said were not producing any more? What goal would freezing them serve?
Also, why would they thaw all possible candidates for the job at the same time? They were chosen because they had the best aptitude to solve the problems. I don't see why they shouldn't just pick the person best fit for it. Instead, just throw them into some kind of competition, that's something unheard of in Dystopian YA! </sarcasm>
I understand that in these days it's cool to call everything -omics, like genomics, but censomics just didn't make any sense...
The ending provided a not really surprising plot twist and enough cliffhanger to make the transgression to the second book easier. I'm torn on the series. I liked Alice's story, but at present, I'm not quite sure if it will continue in the second book. On a more positive note: It didn't (really) involve a love triangle! +1.