Monday, September 28, 2015

Coda - Emma Trevayne

Title: Coda
Author: Emma Trevayne
Publication Date: 5/7/13
Pages: 320
Genre: Dystopian / Science Fiction / Fiction
How I Found It: It's been on my TBR for quite a while.
Date Completed: 9/17/15

Summary: In Trevayne's future, music has been encoded with addictive properties and the corrupt government uses it to control the population. Any unauthorized music is illegal and every citizen is monitored to ensure their need for the hallucinogenic melodies.

What I Thought: I love the broad concept of this book. I think Trevayne has hit on a plot idea here that has yet to be exploited by the mass migration to the dystopian genre. The integration of music into the future is a concept that few have broached. Suzanne Collins touches on it a bit in The Hunger Games series as Katniss sings to her sister and the mockingjay birds repeat back short melodies. Yet, I have not seen another author fully explore what a dystopian future centered around music would look like.

So, the book had incredible potential. And, on some level, it does live up to that potential. I think there are or could be a lot of YA dystopian fans out there who really enjoy this book. It's fast-paced, action-filled, and features teenagers fighting back against the regime. It hits all the sweet spots for popular success, right?

It's just that I need more than that.

I need more than action or fighting or rage against the machine. I want character development and sensical plotlines. Trevayne does do some character building, but nowhere near the level needed to truly engage me. I want more emotion, more transformation, more self-exploration from my characters. I also like to be able to keep track of who is who.

Organization became the biggest downfall and ultimate death knell for me with this book. I seriously struggled to follow the plot and keep track of all the characters. I don't always need things to be easy, but I do like things to be logical and not too overly complex. I did not get that wish fulfilled in Coda. I really had a difficult time maintaining an understanding of what was happening on the most basic level at times, particularly as things ramped up at the end. I can recognize that I read this book in a period of life where I was not as emotionally engaged or invested as I have been at other times, but I truly don't believe my full experience falls back on that. Trevayne needed clearer writing for me to connect with, or even fully understand her work.

I can't say I would read this book again, despite my recognition that a second reading could help enlighten my understanding of the plot. I still love Trevayne's concept. Music and dystopia should meet and create a beautiful, imaginative, enjoyable novel at some point. This just isn't it - at least not for me.

Quote I Loved: "If necessity is the mother of invention, greed is its father."

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Unlikely
If You Liked This Try: Feed / Relic / Matched

A Reduced Review: An overly complex plot kept this fascinating concept from becoming a winning execution for me. 

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