ACID by Emma Pass Review: Kicking ass with multiple identities

November 28, 2013 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

ACID by Emma Pass Review: Kicking ass with multiple identitiesACID by Emma Pass
Published by Random House on April 25, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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The year is 2113. In Jenna Strong's world, ACID—the most brutal controlling police force in history—rule supreme. No throwaway comment or whispered dissent goes unnoticed—or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a horrendous crime she struggles to remember. But Jenna's violent prison time has taught her how to survive by any means necessary.

When a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed, and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID, and try to uncover the truth about what really happened on that terrible night two years ago. They have taken her life, her freedom, and her true memories away from her. How can she reclaim anything when she doesn't know who to trust?

Strong, gritty writing, irresistible psychological suspense, and action consume the novel as Jenna struggles to survive against the all-controlling ACID. Seriously sinister stuff.

Reminiscent of the TV show Alias and the movie SALT, ACID is a futuristic dystopian featuring a kickass main character assuming multiple identities throughout the novel, with nonstop action, romance and constant twists and turns.

Jenna Strong is serving a life sentence in prison for killing her parents. Despite being the only female, she can take on even the most hardened criminals with a flick of her wrist. One day, her trusted confidante Dr Fisher helps her escape prison – while getting murdered by the ACID police in the process – who pin it all on Jenna. With the best surgeons at work, Jenna is given a new face and a new identity to start a new life…as Mia Richardson.

As a hardened criminal, privileged citizen, fugitive, extremist and saviour, Jenna assumes multiple identities throughout the novel which shows different sides to her. She undergoes major character development as she learns more about the world controlled by ACID. When she meets Max, someone who she rescues and feels obligated to accompany, Jenna’s demeanour softens and her caring side comes out. The romance slowly develops over the course of the novel and Max’s trust in Jenna furthers her character development, and it never detracts from the story.

Set in futuristic International Republic of Britain, the world of ACID is fleshed out elegantly in detail. ACID is the police force that controls every from the news, information, transport, and even who people partner with (Life Partners) and when they can have children. We learn more about the world through snippets from the news and letters scattered throughout the book, and the world building flowed naturally throughout the story.

While most of the book was captivating, I found it lost momentum later on. A major plot twist happens where the reader knows what is going on miles ahead of the character itself, so when she realises we’re already disengaged. While the ending wrapped up everything nicely, it just seemed a little too convenient as a solution to the constrained society.

I love how this book is a standalone novel, and there’s no dragging out loose ends for the sake of being a series. The epilogue gives us the perfect amount of closure, while still planting a seed to let us speculate on what happens next. Overall, ACID is a solid debut that explores some new concepts. I would recommend it to lovers of dystopian everywhere and can’t wait to read more from Emma Pass.

I received a review copy of ACID as a Readplus reviewer, in exchange for an honest review. ACID will be released in the US on 11 March, 2013.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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42 responses to “ACID by Emma Pass Review: Kicking ass with multiple identities

  1. I think I would really enjoy this book. I got really into dystopias this year, and I always like a good, strong heroine and a slow, well-done romance. And the fact that it's a standalone gives me more reason to read it! There's so many series that I have to get caught up on and it's refreshing to see quite a few standalones being written lately.
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  2. Cyn

    I only discovered this book not too long ago on someone's WoW haha, but man does it sound awesome! Nothing beats a badass heroine! I like the cops/spy theme. Also, the romance sounds cute!

    Holy cow! This is a standalone alone book, even though it's a dystopian?! I think that sells it for me! March is so far away though :p Great review Jeann!
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  3. Oooh, a Dystopia set here in the UK. Nice! There's not many of them kicking around 😀

    I'm not keen on knowing stuff way before the main character does. I like to figure things out as they do, that way we can be surprised together. Also, like you said, it's kind of anti-climatic when a character finds out this big twist that you've know from the beginning. It kind of ruins the moment lol.

    Buuuut ALL HAIL TO A BOOK THAT CAN STAND ON ITS OWN. This is one of my biggest beefs with books today because, seriously, so often there's this ridiculous cliffhanger just to lead onto the second book and it makes me feel like I've only been given half a book.
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    • Haha, UKYA is breaking through finally! I know, sometimes we are given cliffhangers and the next book doesn't come out for a while that we've actually forgotten what happens (I'm guilty of this). But I think it's become a cheap tactic to try and make more sales, instead of truly planning an awesome serial. How refreshing it is to read a standalone! Thanks Allie 🙂

  4. Oh my goodness, this sounds truly awesome! I loved Alias, and Salt was a true winner as well! And to read about a strong woman like that must be even better than watching TV or a movie!

    Great review, Jeann, I am adding Acid to my TBR as I type (and I may or may not be one-clicking it at the same time 😉 )

    Have a fantastic Friday!
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  5. Jean, I love reading your thorough and insightful reviews. The negative comments about serializing were interesting to me, as an author, because the advice to authors is to try and serialize in order to "hook" readers and guarantee an audience for each installation. I never liked this advice and it seems that the readers don't either…
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    • Thank you so much Joab, I really appreciate it! I hear you, these days it feels like there are so many loose ends and series which we have to wait so long for, sometimes it's nice just to have everything tie up.

  6. OMFG! OMFG! Can I buy this book NOW? As in now! I don't care whether it's dystopian or not but a story which is a cross between SALT and Alias, SIGN ME UP please! This is the first book I've encountered that the heroine is the one playing the enigmatic bad girl when normally the said role is saturated by male players.

    What a bummer about the predictable "twist." But I wouldn't let that deter me in reading this book. The great characterization and romance (I must say because it developed in a non-instalovey way) seemed to rescue this book from becoming a flop. And I love the fact that it's not a series. Kudos to the author for thinking sensibly.

    Another awesome review, Jeann!

  7. Great review Jeann. I really liked this one too especially the first half. I agree that when certain things happened in the second half that we knew about before Jenna it did peter out a bit and lose the tension but overall I thought it was well executed. And YES! How nice is it to read a standalone and know that the story is finished! This was my first real foray into UKYA and definitely whetted my appetite for more!
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    • Oooh good to hear you liked this one too Dani. Glad you are hooked on UKYA 🙂 I wish more books these days were standalone, no unresolved feelings and cliffhangers driving us crazy.

  8. Sounds like my kind of book! I'm a HUGE dystopian fan…but I often find them lacking because they're dragging out into a series/trilogy. It's nice to see this is a standalone. I'm a tad worried about it losing momentum. I have SO much to read, sometimes books become DNF's if they don't keep my attention. :/ Still, that's one heck of a cover. I'm trying this one. 😉