Title: Bleak Devotion
Author: Gemma Drazin
Published: June 23, 2014
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Source: Read For Review
Jessica doesn’t know how long it’s been, only that it seems like forever since she’s allowed her feelings to show. Ever since they attacked her city. Monsters which appear human but are void of any expression, and seem bent on destroying all signs of sentiment in others. Their lethal blades shred anyone who shows even the slightest emotion.
After her only remaining friend is killed, Jessica flees the city hoping to find a place where emotions aren’t fatal. A place to grieve those she lost and live out her meager existence. When she discovers the world of the emotionless creatures isn’t what she believes, the love it leads her to may also be the path to her own death.
*I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.*
Gemma Drazin’s Bleak Devotion throws us into a world where normal human emotion can be a death sentence. Aliens (sometimes referred to as “monsters”) have invaded Earth—and although they look human, they’re anything but. Upon seeing emotional reactions from humans, the male aliens immediately morph into lethal weapons, with metal blades that come out of their arms and kill anyone in sight. In order to survive, Jessica and her only living friend Carly must hide their emotions to look like one of them. However, when Carly is killed by a monster, Jessica goes on the run and realizes that she’s not the only living human left. But the strangers that take her in have a secret, and it’s not one that Jessica will take lightly.
Bleak Devotion started off great; I was pulled in by the way that Drazin didn’t reveal everything about the aliens that Jessica was hiding from right at the beginning. Unfortunately, what started off positively turned into a negative for me because I felt that the reveal was a little too slow. I struggled with a lot of the world-building elements as the book continued, and I was left with a lot of outstanding questions. What is the aliens’ home planet called? How did they get to Earth? How did Blade learn to control his reactions to emotion (saying it was hard and it took a long time didn’t really answer this for me)? The only answer I got was why the aliens are invading Earth, but even that answer wasn’t particularly detailed and gave it that “Evil Flakes” kind of feeling that I hate.
I did find the premise to be fascinating, which is why I was kind of let down that I didn’t get anymore background information on the aliens’ lives. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave. It followed a very similar formula: aliens invading Earth who looked just like humans, but one of them falls in love with a human.
Another element I had trouble with was the quick turnaround in Jessica’s feelings toward Blade. Granted it wasn’t insta-love (gag me), but Jessica went from hating his entire existence to being in love with him in a seemingly short period of time, and nothing really happened to bring them together. They just coexisted semi-peacefully until she fell in love with him.
I think with a few tweaks, Bleak Devotion would have been a lot more appealing to me. Overall, I’d rate it 2 out of 5 stars. This book would appeal to fans of dystopian and science fiction.