It is Clara who is desperate to enter the labyrinth and it is Clara who is bright, strong, and fearless enough to take on any challenge. It is no surprise when she is chosen. But so is the girl who has always lived in her shadow. Together they enter. Within minutes, they are torn apart forever. Now the girl who has never left the city walls must fight to survive in a living nightmare, where one false turn with who to trust means a certain dead end.
Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith
Just seeing Icarus and labyrinth, I was extremely excited! Being a huge Greek mythology nerd (and a classics minor student in uni), I knew I needed to read this, thinking it would be heavily mythology based. Surprisingly, it wasn’t really. Instead, Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith is more of a general YA dystopian novel, which isn’t to say that’s a bad thing. Just different from what the short synopsis seemed to suggest.
There’s a nameless narrator that is by far the worst character of the novel up until the last 20%. This really killed the book for me. I just couldn’t get behind her at all. In fact, I actually put the book down and had to stop because I was just so annoyed by her, I preferred cooking my weekly lunches for work than continue. Why is she annoying? I’ll probably whinge about it in detail on the spoiler vlog tomorrow, but mainly, her inability to do anything. There was no personality in her. No nothing for the majority of the story.
That said, you might be wondering how it managed to get three and a half stars from me. You might be thinking pffft, free title, of course it got higher than three stars. Nope. Just because the narrator was dull, doesn’t mean the book was. The story was very interesting and there were just enough bits of mythology and Greek-ness to keep me hooked. Side characters Elle and Addie were super interesting and I wanted more of them. I also wanted more of Theo and to see if Theo and Nameless could start a relationship, or if Nameless and Ryan would since the author kept thrusting them together. But nothing happened because the narrator is pretty much nothing.
The last 33% of the book really bumped the stars up. The Executioner was amazing and then the mind freak that happens right at the very end, I was just speechless. I could not believe that was how the book would end, just as it was getting good. Just as Nameless started to hint at becoming someone, something.
If you’re seriously into YA dystopian, you’ll really enjoy Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith. If you’re just a casual fan, you might wanna wait and check it out at the library. If there’s the potential of a sequel being released, then I’d say definitely give it a shot.
About the Author
Caighlan Smith was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador on June 1st, 1994. She grew up in the scenic coastal community of St. Philip’s, overlooking the dramatic north-west Atlantic. As a kid, she loved to play in the woods around her house, loved to tell stories and believed in magic. When she was four years old and went to Ireland, her goal was to find a leprechaun. A year later in Norway, it was a troll. She has hiked a dormant volcano in Iceland. She has found Easter eggs hidden in a friend’s Emmy Award in California and was an actress in a television show that was screened at the United Nations in New York for International Day of the Child, 2000.
Caighlan, who is studying English, Classics and Creative Writing at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s, is a supporter of universal girl-child education and has been involved with the Teachers Action for Girls campaign in Uganda.
Unlike many YA fantasy writers, she does not have oodles of cats or dogs or miscellaneous furry friends, as they all make her sneeze and wheeze and tear-up. Breathing is far more important than dog drool on your lap or fur clinging to your hoodie. Her great loves are reading, gaming and, of course, writing. The “C” in her name is hard, the “gh” is silent.