A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
This novel is written to entertain, not educate. But each chapter ends with "classified" medical and research documents, which add intrigue.
Messages about the importance of friendship, family, trust, and honesty.
Positive Role Models
Dol is a strong heroine with a likable personality and narrative voice. She stands up for others and doesn't let anyone bully her.
Violence & Scariness
There's not much violence, apart from some hand-to hand combat and people apparently being stunned to death by aliens, but there's no gore. One character is injured, a secondary character and minor characters are killed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Items from the "past" are mentioned, such as Panasonic and things called memory cells (think iPod), but most technology and electronic gadgets are described and are not given brand names.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Icons is the first book in a dystopian series from Margaret Stohl, co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series. It features a strong-willed heroine and a unique world, but the four main characters constantly bicker, which becomes annoying. There's hand-to-hand combat, some characters are killed, and there's a love triangle with mild flirting.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.