The Fearless. An army, powered by an incredible new serum that makes each soldier stronger, sharper, faster than their enemies. Intended as a force for good, the serum has a terrible side-effect - anyone who takes it is stripped of all humanity, empathy, love. And as the Fearless sweep through the country, forcing the serum on anyone in their path, society becomes a living nightmare.
Cass remembers the night they passed through her village. Her father was Altered. Her mother died soon after. All Cass has left is her little brother - and when Jori is snatched by the Fearless and taken to their hellish lair, Cass must risk everything to get him back.
After ACID, Emma Pass has proven beyond a doubt that she can write an amazing dystopian! I mean, The Fearless had me breathless, shaking, completely enthralled and more than a little terrified! Especially the beginning, the story of what made the Fearless, how they no longer feel empathy, and then invading Britain; I was on the edge of my seat, waiting and hoping that everyone made it alive. But of course, in a good dystopian, not everything will go the way you want it.
Skip ahead 7 years and Cass is still living on an island off the coast, a safe haven away from the Fearless on the mainland, looking after her brother and training to be part of the Patrol. Obviously it doesn't last and a stowaway appears on the island, along with two Fearless who kidnap Jori, Cass's little brother. Cass has no choice but to trust the stowaway, with more secrets than God, to take her to the mainland and bring her brother home before he is Altered. I thought Cass was so very brave, leaving her home and risking her safety to rescue her brother. I mean, she was a bit daft, putting her trust in this stranger but she had no other choice if she wanted her only family back.
As Cass and Myo make their way north, secrets unravel and Cass realises that all she has been taught about the Fearless is no longer relevant; the government may have toppled but it wasn't right away, and the Fearless serum is no longer as potent. But it's not all horrible news: Myo seems to intrigue Cass and she does start to feel for him amidst all this. But there's a guy back on the island that likes Cass. I have mixed feelings about love-triangles but for the most part, this didn't even feel like one. Mostly because the Cass/Sol part was completely one sided. And anyway, I'm not sure I liked Sol much. He seemed ok at the beginning, trying to prove himself as a soldier and win Cass's heart but he was quite annoying and petty when Cass turned him down. Not to mention what he resorted to in the end!
All in all, an amazing read, from it's heart-breaking story to it's brave and challenging characters. Pass has an incredible skill to paint such a terrifyingly realistic world that hooks you in and won't let you go until the thrilling ride is over. If you're anything like me, you will fall completely in love with everything Pass has to offer.
Published 24th April 2014 by Corgi Children's Books. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.