Parents' Guide to

Icons

By Julie A. Carlson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Confusing tale of aliens and government conspiracies.

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Icons is very confusing: It doesn't really know what it wants to be -- dystopian or post-apocalyptic. Author Margaret Stohl should have picked one sci-fi genre and gone with it. Instead, we get a mashup of The War of the Worlds meets just about every dystopian novel in today's teen market. It starts out strong with an interesting world and a compelling heroine who's grown up isolated from the outside world in a Spanish Mission and doesn't know her true identity, but has always wondered why she and her friend Ro are different. Yet, once she's taken to the mysterious Embassy, she suddenly knows all about technology and is using all the tech lingo.

At first readers might be geared up for an exciting dystopian novel, but they end up with a confusing tale about aliens and government conspiracies. The characters are constantly at odds with each other, fighting and arguing, and seem always annoyed, especially Tima, who is hysterical and smug the entire book. Readers may quickly become annoyed themselves.

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