Book Review: IGIST

IGIST by L.S. Larson
by L.S. Larson ,Yujin Jung (Illustrator)

2 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Emi and her father live on Earth, where a plague is ravaging humanity, but Emi dreams of attending the elite IGIST school on the moon’s space station, where she could fulfill her wish of making scientific breakthroughs to cure the plague.

This book comes with an app, available for iOS in the App store. You can read the entire book on the app, where you can earn coins for reading each chapter, and spend your coins to purchase special character bios, photo filters and stickers, and earn badges as you follow the character’s stories. If you read on the app, the story is enhanced with graphics, videos, and illustrations that add to the reading experience.

I liked the main idea of the story, but the execution left me bored. The app is VERY cool! I loved the graphics and the badges and the special effects! But the writing is flat and awkward. The characters are one-dimensional, and I didn’t care about any of them.

I didn’t like the main character, Emi, very much, and it was painful reading stiff scenes where she is supposed to be making connections with other characters. She could be making friends, making enemies, or connecting with a mentor, but there is no emotional attachment. The characters are made of cardboard with painted faces.
The plot was also disappointing, and the science elements in the story were not clearly explained, leaving me confused about how this fictional world is really structured. The world-building has a lot of potential with some imaginative ideas about the IGIST space station, and how the solar system has been colonized by humans, and how DNA is being manipulated to make humans faster and stronger, but ultimately, none of these ideas were explored to my satisfaction.

The writing style is strange and awkward. The writing “tells” instead of “showing”, and gets bogged down in a lot of wordy description. Even though there aren’t exactly grammatical errors, the sentence structure doesn’t flow normally. It feels like it was translated from another language, or maybe English is not the author’s first language.

Here are a few examples:
“Demanding and strict, Florin lacked any appreciation for creating a motivating environment.” (misuse of the word “appreciation”)

“She looked at the cracked glass. It would certainly break completely soon.” (misplaced modifier)

“Her father tickled her at just the right time, and Emi smiled. His arm was around her, pointing in the distance.” ( How is his arm pointing in the distance if his arm is also around her? Why would you point with the same arm that is hugging someone? Maybe a small point or gesture, but not a long distance point. Weird.)

” “It’ll be fun,” her father said. His bubbly tone and smile added a sense of excitement to life’s mundanities.” (This use of “mundanities” IS correct, but it just sounds awkward. It doesn’t flow. Also using an adjective on the first of two nouns doesn’t flow well. It would sound much better to say “His smile and bubbly tone…” )

I DNF’d this book after 124 pages, so I got to about 43% before I just couldn’t anymore. Not one time did I forget that I was reading a book. I was never captivated or immersed in the story enough to lose myself in it.

The basic story has potential, and the app is very cool with gorgeous graphics, but the writing and characters are bland.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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