A few weeks ago I hosted a tour for another book by Dan Rix, Broken Symmetry, and absolutely loved it. If you'd like to, you can see that review here. The signups for this blog tour were up at the same time as Broken Symmetry's was, and they sounded really interesting, so I decided to sign up for both. Despite being about completely different subjects, I think that these two books actually have a lot in common, especially when it comes to the style in which they're written. But before I go too far into that, here's what Entanglement is about.
Entanglement by Dan Rix
"...the scientific explanation is quantum entanglement, whereby the boy and girl—even when separated by great distances—react instantaneously to changes in each other's states..." —Dr. Casler Selavio, on the entanglement of halves.
In a world like ours, humans are born in pairs. When a newborn boy takes his first breath in the coastal town of Tularosa, the exact time is noted, recorded in the Registry, and later compared to the birth times of other newborns around the globe. There will be one identical match—his half. They will meet on their eighteenth birthday and they will spend their lives together. Except this time, there is no match.
Hotheaded heartthrob Aaron Harper is scheduled to meet his half in twenty-nine days, and he doesn’t buy a word of that entanglement crap. So what if he and his half were born the same day and share a spooky psychic connection? Big deal. After breaking one too many teenage girls’ hearts, he’ll stick to brawling with the douchebag rugby players any day.
Until the day a new girl arrives at school and threatens everything he takes for granted.
Cold and unapproachable, Amber Lilian hates the growing list of similarities between her and the one boy she can’t read, Aaron: born the same day, both stubborn, both terrified of meeting their halves. . . . All the more reason not to trust him. That she would rather die than surrender herself as her half’s property is none of his damn business. But once lost in Aaron’s dangerous, jet black eyes, she’s already surrendered more than she cares to admit.
Tangled in each other’s self-destructive lives, Aaron and Amber learn the secret behind their linked births and why they feel like halves—but unless they can prove it before they turn eighteen, Aaron faces a lifetime alone in a world where everyone else has a soul mate . . . and he’ll have to watch Amber give herself to a boy who intends to possess not only her body but also a chunk of her soul.
ENTANGLEMENT, a 75,000 word YA thriller, will appeal to readers of Michael Grant's GONE and Ally Condie’s MATCHED.
Dan Rix lives in Santa Barbara, California with his fiancée, paranormal romance author Laura Thalassa. He started writing his first novel in college while procrastinating his architecture studio work.
She stared at him, her brown eyes clouded by weariness, then gave a stiff nod. Aaron felt a weight off his chest already.
But while his eyes were still on her, her back arched suddenly. She gasped, and her bony shoulders tensed before she fell forward, shivering. Students’ heads swiveled toward her, and Mr. Sanders, who had started his lecture, trailed off.
“Emma!” Their teacher ran to her desk and knelt beside her. “Emma, talk to me—what’s wrong?”
She clutched her stomach, and a tear slid down her cheek from her wide, terrified eyes.
“Is it a stomach ache?” said Mr. Sanders.
When Emma spoke, her voice was a whimper. Almost too low to hear across a classroom, but Aaron heard.
“I…I can’t feel him,” she said, and another tear splattered on her desk. “I can’t feel my half.”
“Let’s get you to the nurse,” said Mr. Sanders, helping her to her feet. “It’s going to be fine.”
Emma touched the back of her own head, winced, and collapsed against his chest. She was breathing too fast, hyperventilating.
Mr. Sanders looped his arm behind her knees, scooped her up, and carried her to the door. Only Buff ran forward to help. The rest of the class sat white-faced and frozen.
Mr. Sanders addressed them before he left. “Explain how the discovery of halves pushed the world toward greater international cooperation in the late thirties, I want at least a page from each of you when I get back—and NO talking!”
Then the door slammed.
All eyes turned on Aaron. Nervous, shifty-eyed stares, wary of his reaction to what had just happened to his ex-girlfriend. They knew the symptoms.
Her half was dead.
I really did like the idea for the novel. I'm not saying that I've never heard of anything like it before, but it was very intriguing, and I think that Dan Rix handled it very well. For about 80% of the book, I couldn't exactly say that I understood all of the concepts, but I think that's fair because none of the other main characters did either, at least not completely.
I do wish that more time had been put into world building before all of the action started happening. Because I didn't really understand the dynamics of how everything worked for most of the novel, it left me a little skeptical of some of the things that were going on. I felt pretty lost for most of the story, like all of the characters understood something that I was completely missing because they had more knowledge of the world than I did. Usually I wasn't really sure if something that seemed a little weird to me was simply a plot hole, or just hadn't been explained yet. That's not an altogether horrible thing to have in a book, but I definitely think that it's more effective in small doses.
The novel got better as it went on, though. I'm not trying to say that the beginning was slow or anything, just that it felt less put together in my opinion. Actually for about the first half of the novel, I really hated pretty much all of the characters. Not just that I didn't have a favorite or anything, I really hated them all. Most of them were extremely rude, self-centered, and seemed to cause unnecessary problems at every turn. For some reason, Aaron also felt the need to choose the most reckless of options whenever he could, even when he knew that what he was doing was stupid.
By the end of the book, they did get better, and most of the other problems that I had noticed just kind of worked themselves out. The ending seemed like it fit, even if I am still a little dubious as to how everything was able to work out so perfectly. I was left with a few more questions than I would have expected from what I think is a standalone novel, but I still enjoyed myself overall and wouldn't take the experience of reading the book back.
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