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.”
Disclaimer: We received this an advanced digital copy of this book via NetGalley courtesy of the publisher (Switch Press). There may be some things you consider to be spoilers ahead. You have been warned.
Why we chose it: The description was enough for us
Review: Children of Icarus is at times as twisted as the labyrinth that the majority of the book takes place in and we loved it. It was so good and so wrong at the same time.
What was so intriguing for us as we made our way through this book is how gloriously screwed up all the characters are. They’re all perfect echoes of the damaged world they live in (something we’ll get to later) and we’re going to go deep in our discussion of these characters.
The main character is a girl who we’re going to simply refer to as the main character because we no longer remember what the girl’s name is. Like Arya Stark says “A girl has no name” and indeed our girl has no name. Or at least not one that sticks….we can’t even remember if we were told. For the first half of the book our MC is a shadow in Clara’s wake. She’s like an errant thought, but she has a nice voice. The novel is told from her perspective and it’s through her perspective that we uncover the twists of the labyrinth and the twisted people that survive. We found it really interesting that even though our character spends a great deal of crying it’s not long before you discover there’s a strength inside her hidden deep down.
Deep, deep down.
It’s not possible to stress enough how much we enjoyed the way in which the main character both hides behind the essence of Clara and subsequently inhabits it. She becomes Clara……at least in some ways. She spends a lot of time lying by omission and doesn’t really give it a second thought.
We’ve been thinking that for a time we thought our main character would simply lie her way through survival and that the plot wouldn’t advance, but it didn’t and we’re so very grateful for that.
Our main character’s lies catch up to her and at the halfway point begin to cause her much pain. What we haven’t mentioned is that the people our main character lies to are a survival group called The Fates. The leader of that is the real Clara’s brother. His name is Collin. Our main character starts thinking that because she’s now Clara Collin is her brother and he’s a good big brother. Strong and ruthless, not a very nice guy. He has a temper and it’s explosive. It makes itself known in some very screwed up ways.
Clara experiences some of those screwed up ways when she gets found out in the most wonderful way. When we say wonderful we mean the writing was so good we actually felt physically uncomfortable reading it.
While we genuinely think the majority of characters that comprise what we’re shown of The Fates are okay in general there are some notable exceptions. One of them is Elle. She’s not all together present and becomes extremely possessive of our main character. What we liked about Elle though is that her inability to be fully present in reality is realistic and powerful. There were times when we wanted to defend Elle and we really hope to see more of her in coming books.
We mentioned earlier that we thought the plot might not advance and that we were okay with that. We still are, but we wouldn’t have loved the book the way we do now.
Our main character ends up in the labyrinth with a boy who’s quickly on his way to becoming a friend and a little girl named Gina. They venture for water and the labyrinth does what one can expect it to do. Messes everything up. Our main character meets a woman only glimpsed before and while our main character remains mostly useless for another while, this woman (who we’ll get to in a moment changes that)
The woman is nicknamed The Executioner. It’s fitting that like our main character we can’t remember her true name. We don’t even know if one was mentioned. The Executioner is strong and resourceful and in Children of Icarus that author weaves her story into one that’s actually important. Her past actions have affected the present in a similar way to how her actions that we witness in the book will affect where our main character goes from where we leave her in Children of Icarus.
The world that’s been built in this book is limited in some ways. In terms of scope it’s not very big and can give off a Hunger Games or Divergent feeling, but it’s different from them. There’s a stronger fantasy feel to Children of Icarus and we love the detail that went into the creatures and the layout the labyrinth even though we’re sure there’s much more to be explored. While we would’ve like to have learned more about the creation and general history of the labyrinth we understand that it just wouldn’t have been entirely possible to achieve the depth we wanted and not have the character feeling as if she were not moving due to description.
Links to both of those dystopian novels mentioned above might be made by some due to the age and the almost reaping like feel to an event that happens early in the book, but we urge you not to view Children of Icarus and some sort of rip off. It feels different and it reads different, Personally we class Children of Icarus as a book better than any of the novels in The Hungers Games trilogy or The Divergent trilogy
To conclude Children of Icarus has twists and turns and some sick individuals. It’s a book where the pacing suffers a little, but the writing and characters overcomes that. The pacing problem does eventually disappear altogether and we can honestly say we’re looking forward to the next book.
Thanks for reading! Let us know what you think in the comments if you’ve read this book. Don’t forget to follow us on:
And we’d love to be friend with you on Goodreads so send us a friend request. That way we’ll be able to see what you’re reading.