[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]
2.5 stars. I'm not exactly sure how to rate this novel, because it was entertaining... but nothing I've never seen before. I guess I've just read too many “dystopian YA” novels to be easily awed?
* There's a romantice arc, but it's far from being the main focus. The characters don't act like dumbstruck hormone-governed bodies who'll place a kiss above the fate of the world.
* The sci-fi background. It could've been more developed, sure; however, the “cuckoo” theory was interesting.
* For once the “pocket world” aspect is logical! It's a dump colony, so it totally makes sense that settlements are gathered in a limited space, and not spread all over the planet. It's not an entire world that had thousand of years to evolve, and would therefore make me wonder “well what the hell is the rest of this world doing, ignoring what's happening here?”
* The pacing is fairly even, as in, with a good amount of action vs. quieter moments. Life starts normal, then something happens, then there's a moment of quiet, then crap hits the fan again... I was never bored reading this story.
Things that didn't thrill me:
* The world-building: good ideas at its basis, but not really developed later. Although the “normal twin / superhuman twin” idea was nice, I'd have liked to know more about how this all came to be, and how it came one twin developed differently (they're identical twins, genetically-speaking, so what made the difference, or rather, how is this supposed to be explained?). Or the colonisationg itself: is it a bona fide (small) planet, and what happened to the previous civilisation(s), if any?
* The story is nothing original: tyrant oppressing the masses with the help of his “state police” (the Slayers), executions, a group of rebels fighting against the oppressor... There wasn't anything out of the ordinary when it came to the Saviour's government.
* Kyle has his whining moments, as well as his TSTL moments. I mean, come on. When you discover that you're not supposed to be here, and that about everyone will betray you, it doesn't take a genius to understand what you SHOULD NOT do. Running to do it is... head, meet desk.
* The aforementioned romance: why not... but also why. It feels like it's mandatory these days. Here, the story could've gone its merry way juste as well without it.
Conclusion: Not a “bad” novel, and I honestly think that, a few years ago, I'd have rated it higher. It was mildly entertaining. It just wasn't more than that for me.