The Pilots by Juliana Marguerite
My rating: three stars
Genre: YA Dystopian
Goodreads Summary: LILY is top of her class and ready to accept a Government position in Safe Zone One. Her whole life is turned around when she’s handcuffed and thrown into The Pilot, a series of challenges she must complete before a Government position is offered. Who knows, this may be just another test. But, why are kids not making it past trials and why is this happening right before the end of her senior year?
JACKSON is chosen as a junior to embark on a mission outside the confining walls of Safe Zone Two. A mission of discovery called The Pilot. His designated trek will have him testing the environment for traces of MX, a deadly biological weapon used in the drug trade. Jackson will find himself tested by the land once sprawling with people. What will be found along his path?
A chilling tale of discovery and finding strength in one’s self. Take the plunge into, The Pilots.
First off, I would like to thank Juliana Marguerite for giving me the opportunity to be a beta reader/ARC reviewer. I was so happy to be able to read this book early and help her find any major errors before publication, it was a great opportunity! I will say that even though I was given the ARC of this book to review, everything I say in this review will be my honest opinion. Juliana did not ask me to give a good review, a certain number of stars, or anything like that. All she wanted was people to read her book and give her honest feedback, so that is what I will be doing!
Likes: This is such an interesting world with interesting storylines (there are two separate stories going on within The Pilots)! I was constantly intrigued about what was going to happen next, especially within Lily’s story. I liked the different tests that Lily had to go through, they were challenging but crazy and unexpected at times. I also liked the characters. They were smart, fun, and came together in a way that was inspiring. I was interested in almost every character so much, I wanted to know more – unfortunately one of the negatives is that I didn’t feel like I got to see the deep inner workings and thoughts of the characters. I also liked the way the two stories were related, though I wish we could have seen more of Jackson’s story – I think that would have made me even more invested. The mystery that comes about makes me wish the second book was out already so I could see what happens.
Dislikes: I feel like this story has such good bones – a great world, storyline, and characters, it just needed a few more rounds of deep editing. There were grammatical instances that I found strange, and interactions between characters that I found awkward and confusing. I think that she did a good job explaining the surroundings, I had an easy time picturing what was happening, but as for character feelings and interactions, they were lacking. The only way I can think to explain is that it felt like the story was missing a sentence/paragraph every once and a while (if you are techy, then it was like frames were dropping). A character would go through something traumatic and wouldn’t seem too deeply bothered, relationships would be created or destroyed without much explanation, etc. This made me not able to immerse myself in the story because I was frequently being pulled out of it by some strange interaction or wording. There were definitely instances where she had wonderful interactions, but overall, I think that there could have been some more editing to improve this.
The Pilots had an extremely good foundation. The characters and plot had great “bones” and I enjoyed them. However, the main problem that I had, and why I gave it three stars, is that the book felt like it needed some more editing to improve the grammar, character interactions, and character depth. I look forward to reading the sequel. I truly believe this story has the potential to be incredible, and with the ending of The Pilots, I can’t wait to see what is going on!!