Has a friend ever recommended a movie by saying, “Don’t search for it online, don’t watch the trailers, just go. The less you know, the better”? ALIVE by Scott Sigler is a lot like that. A detailed review would ruin the book, so per Sigler’s request, this is going to be a very tight, very conservative review.
Now, all that being said, ALIVE was great read. It’s the story of a group of teenagers waking up in a strange place without any knowledge of who they are, where they are, or who put them there. I think many of us have heard this prompt before. And it’s usually followed immediately by a comment that editors hate seeing this beginning, and they love to reject this kind of setup. But Sigler isn’t a novice writer. Instead, he, and his protagonist, M. Savage, led me through a dark puzzle that had me turning pages so quickly that I actually enjoyed my flight.
This was my first Sigler book, but I have been interested in him for a while, having watched his work as an author, self-publisher, and podcaster who worked his ass off building his career. But when I heard he was putting out a YA sci-fi, I figured this would be the perfect entry point, and I was right.
M. Savage is a wonderful protagonist: on the one hand, a naive, young girl, while on the other hand, a leader who learns how to make very tough calls–all the while unraveling the mysteries surrounding her. I won’t say what those mysteries are, but Sigler has crafted a slow burn that is creepy, violent, and compelling all at once. And just when you think you’ve figured it out, that’s when things get really weird, making for a helluva third act. Even better? It’s the first in a trilogy. I’ll definitely come back for a second helping of Sigler.
So don’t Google, don’t go on Goodreads. Just pick up the book and read it. You’ll thank me later.