So I really wanted to love Arch-Conspirator by Veronica Roth but it didn’t quite reach those levels for me. It wasn’t a bad read by any means, it just fell a bit short of what I was expecting from an author I typically really enjoy, and who has proven herself time and again in the dystopian genre.
This story takes place in a world where the natural process of birth is considered taboo and they believe results in people being born soulless. Instead, upon death they take people’s DNA from their bodies and hold it in the Archive where couples go to choose the two people they wish to combine DNA from to create their children. In this society women are no more than baby makers and have little other value. They are expected to marry, produce children and that’s about it.
Enter Antigone and her siblings, children born naturally who are considered to be soulless. Their parents were murdered and they were taken in by their uncle (their parents’ killer) out of an intent to control them rather than from the kindness of his heart.
Where I struggled with this book was that it felt like there was too much trying to be squeezed in to what was more of a novella-length book than an actual novel. In the beginning of the book I found myself confused as to what was going on because it almost felt like it started in the middle of a story and it felt as if it took me a bit to catch up to what was going on. On top of this, I felt like there were way too many different POV characters particularly in the first half and I think this book was way too short to have so many different points of view going on.
Now this isn’t to say the story was bad, I really did enjoy the concept and it was an interesting concept, I just think it needed to be more fully fleshed out so the reader had time to get immersed in the world and get to know the characters before it was suddenly over. As is it felt a bit too rushed and the story kind of suffered for it in my opinion. The ending in particular felt SO rushed. Things were getting super intense then suddenly the book was just done and it didn’t really feel wrapped up. It left far more questions than it gave answers.
To sum it up, the story of Arch-Conspirator was an interesting idea, but it didn’t quite reach the potential it could have. Considering what a short quick read it is, it’s worth giving it the chance though, because it certainly doesn’t hurt to give it a shot.