The Artful is a great twist on the PA concept, instead of zombies or some cataclysmic event, the characters are infected. This is not your typical virus, the survivor must live underground, in the sewers or isolated inside protective buildings.
Twist and Dodger are survivors, acting out a sort of Robin Hood lifestyle; stealing from the privileged rich and giving to the poor and needy. They act with a reckless abandon that gets them into more trouble than they can sometimes handle.
What I liked about The Artful are the things that make it standout from most books in its genre, these are important factors, removing many redundant elements that are so often found in PA and YA.
First and foremost for me was the male lead, this is rare in YA and I think that it’s important that Stanton has gone there, he has given us a male lead who is not a super hero, but a regular self-conscious young man who has to grow into his own during the course of the story. Twist goes from the “want to be equal” sidekick to stepping out on his own and discovering exactly what he is capable of doing on his own.
The nature of the virus was something completely unique and like in all PA books the real monsters are the other survivors. This leads to inevitable conflicts, but Stanton doesn’t glorify the deaths. They are a point of struggle for the characters, even though they must kill, it haunts them long after it’s done.
For me, one of the most important factors is the characters. Do I care? Do I want them to succeed? My answer is yes. Stanton has created some familiar and comfortable themes, given them enough of a twist to make the story standout and characters that I want to follow to the next book.
2 Book Lovers Reviews