Prismatic (Harmony Run #1)
by Sarah Elle Emm
Publication Date: May 2012
Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing
Find This Book: Prismatic
I won this book in an author giveaway on Goodreads. This has not altered my opinion in any way and my review will be honest, as usual.
I’ll start this off by informing you that the blurb isn’t quite like the book. I haven’t really put my finger on it yet, but it’s just not as interesting as the book actually is. I guess what I mean is that the blurb makes the book seem cliché while the book is actually much more in-depth. The book addresses humanity and emotional connections unlike other similar teen books, such as the Hunger Games. “Why does the Hunger Games come to mind?”, you might ask. Well, with a teen girl living in segregation and with little food realizing she’s not normal and taking it upon herself and some friends to overthrow a president who somehow took control of America, how could it not? Maybe the plot of this book wasn’t as action-packed, and it didn’t have an adorable book-boyfriend like Peeta, but Prismatic certainly holds its own.
For starters, there are realistic relationships among friends, siblings, and significant others- without being toxic. Jabari and Rain have the cutest relationship ever in an environment that discourages love. These two get to know each other in a harsh and stressed place and truly care for each other. Best part? Marriage isn’t allowed in New Segregation and pregnancy out of wedlock is punishable by unpayable fines and imprisonment when the fines can’t be payed. My point being that Jabari and Rain’s relationship isn’t just relieving stress through physicality like some books. They’re together because they deeply care for each other and have each other’s backs. While the relationship is the most adorable thing, it’s not the focus of the book-which I loved. The author pays equal attention to Rain’s younger brother Daktari, and their friends Zi, Marcello, and Cole. (How frickin cool are their names?? Considering 5/6 characters aren’t white I really appreciated the culture exhibited through the author’s choice of names and the interactions all the kids have with their mentor, Takara.
The whole point is that these teenagers form The Freedom Front with the goal of overthrowing President Elizabeth Nicks. She has somehow single-handedly taken over America and segregated the country by race: White, Black, Asian, Mixed etc. Mixed being the worst of the worst. Rain and Daktari’s father is Black while her mother is white so they ended up in the Indy Mixed Zone. Her mother didn’t have to come, she could have stayed with her own mother in the luxurious white zone, but instead she chose her family. Tells you a lot about her character considering the mixed zone forces 12 hour shifts for low pay, no new clothes/books, restricted internet, censored messages to the outside, imprisonment for doing nothing against the law, and the only thing available to eat is canned vegetables and old bread left over from other zones. Let’s just say that their mother has a severe case of depression and has nerve attacks. On the plus side, mixed races have special powers. Not everyone, and mostly children since they have the free time and imagination to notice and use their skills but enough have them. This is the main plot and the reason why these teens have a shot at taking down the President of the United States.
I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of this book, the world building and can’t wait until they try and overthrow the president! However, I really hope things are explained in later books. How did Nicks win the presidency? How can people just obey her like that? Does she have special powers? How can nothing have leaked about the mixed zone treat in a whole 4 years? And most importantly, what’s happening in other countries and why isn’t anyone stepping in to help???? All of these questions and the not quite perfect editing (“Broad though his shoulders and very strong” doesn’t make any sense to me what-so-ever) is what brought this book down to a 4 for me and I hope to see great improvement in the future.
Lastly, I’d just like to thank Sarah Elle Emm for my copy of Prismatic. Her writing style was one of the best I’ve read in awhile. The book was funny, the characters all had their different quirks and perspectives, and the intricate themes were told in a beautifully simplistic way that a young adult reading this could grasp. On top of this, Emm was one of the most polite authors I’ve ever worked with, and even sent me a thank you card! This book is definitely worth reading. Sarah has no where to go but up, and I’m going to try and get my hands on book two!