“Oh, Google! Nuke me now.”
I mean, that’s pretty much how I feel after finishing I Am the Storm by Tash McAdam, though I’ll admit I’m being a tiny bit dramatic. But the problem is that I just couldn’t take this book seriously. Following the stories of a young man called Sam with psionic abilities to control technology as he hides from the government who would love nothing more than to take him, experiment on him, and use him for their own benefit and twisted goals and a young girl with mind reading capabilities desperate to find her younger brother who had unfortunately suffered the very fate Sam is trying to avoid, I Am the Storm had a lot of potential.
And yet, I really didn’t like this book.
I was excited to read it at first. Unfortunately, the very beginning completely threw me off, setting the scene for me to grow tirelessly frustrated with the writing, the pacing, the characters, and the overall cheesiness of the language. To begin with, the society uses phrases like, “Google, I hate this,” and “Nuke me now.” And I suppose this quirkiness could have been fun had I been a little bit more impressed with the rest of the novel.
We’re first introduced to this world with a giant info-dump of telling and speaking at the reader, leading up into an ironic assumption that we would understand pieces of the world simply by inferring from the related unnecessary information that is presented. I couldn’t stand the way Sam’s voice was introduced, how he existed as the sort of character that “thinks” everything readers need to know within the first chapter. And then there are points where, instead of naturally inserting the information into the story, Sam references a word and then gives its definition. I just couldn’t stand it.
And unfortunately, that seems to be how a lot of the character development in this novel happened, by the novel simply telling the reader something rather than showing events and experiences that would actually grow the characters. Sam himself was also exceptionally annoying in general. Serena was a little bit more likable, which I appreciated, but there was an unfortunate pettiness in her fight with another character that just left me with a bad taste in my mouth and a dislike for the way the rebellion was organized.
Speaking of the rebellion, it’s no surprise that the one thing that could really help them turn things around is Sam’s abilities–not that they’re aware of who Sam is at the beginning–and so as I progressed through the story it genuinely felt as though literally nothing happened. I think pacing was quite a problem in this novel, sometimes moving too quickly for me to develop any ability to care about the characters and at other times dragging out so much that I grew regularly bored.
While I won’t say that this was a horrible novel, but it definitely wasn’t good by my standards. I can see a lot of people really enjoying it because the plot was definitely fantastic. The execution could have been better with a little bit more happening throughout the book and less filler. Ultimately, I’m not so sure that the book ended where it should have and it felt as though McAdam was adding a bunch of superfluous scenes in order to drag out and end in a specific spot. I don’t foresee myself bothering with the sequel.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.