Author: E.J. Andrews
Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Publication date: April 2014
Rating: 3/5 stars
Copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a review.
After a solar flare wipes out most of the world’s inhabitants, it leaves behind nothing but a desolate earth and a desperate population. Existence is no longer a certainty. And with factions now fighting for the power to rule, people start to become reckless with their lives. The world has become a dangerous place.
Amongst the ensuing chaos, Nate and Hermia — two victims of the new world order — are taken against their will to The Compound. Joined by eight other teenagers all chosen for a specific reason, Nate and Hermia are forced to train as assassins to overthrow the current president and make way for a new leader of the free world. Here, they learn to plan, fight, and most importantly... to survive.
Except, despite the casual cruelty of their new existence, both Nate and Hermia — two very strong but very different people — begin to form fragile bonds within the group. But they soon realize their happiness is short lived...because their training is just the beginning.
My feelings towards this novel changed as the story progressed. During the first few chapters, I felt that it lacked emotion and direction. But after a while, I began to enjoy reading from Nate and Hermia's perspective. I started to love the characters like they were my own friends, and I was eager to know what was in store for them all.
In the prologue, I was immediately given a glimpse of what the story was going to be like: quick, unexpected, and direct. The suddenness of the solar flare gave me an image of how the experience might have felt for the people when it happened. I found the unexpectedness to be one of this novel's good points. Because of its frequency, however, I felt that it didn't do good for the novel. The quick change of scenes confused me, and made me wish there had been more to the previous scene.
Enmity is basically about a bunch of kids brought together for a cause, with most of them being unwilling to participate. The characters were written well. There was a sense of uniqueness that went along with their actions and dialogue. They all developed into memorable people, which was great, because I wasn't that attached to Nate and Hermia for the first few chapters of the book. I thought they lacked emotion when I first met them, but that changed when they were brought together. No character was boring and unrealistic, although there were some characters who made me wonder if they really needed to be there.
I liked the plot, but I think the main plot should have been given more attention. The "main" issue was dealt with at the last few chapters of the book, with the previous chapters giving more attention to the characters' feelings, training, and (spoiler!) deaths. I did like how everything came together in the end, how everything seemed to make sense to me and to the characters. And that "What? It's over?!" ending made me want more.
Another thing that I absolutely liked was the way the author gave a good idea of what the situation in their dystopian world is like. I loved how the little details slowly constructed an image of bleakness and harshness. The author didn't over-describe, which was good.
What I didn't like was the focus on their romantic relationships. I get that they're young and they want some love in their life, but by highlighting their romantic attachments, the story slowly strayed from the real issue. But yes, I did love the pairings. I just wished that the characters didn't jump into the relationship that fast. Like the characters and the story, the development should have been enough for their "love" to be believable.
Overall, Enmity was close to giving me the same thrill that The Hunger Games and Shatter Me gave. It maintains a similarity with the current popular YA novels while keeping its uniqueness. It is an exciting read with an unforgettable story and characters that will crawl their way into any reader's heart.