The Omni Series #1
by Andrea Murray
Publication date: November 1st 2013
Genre: YA Dystopian Romance
Source: Review copy
Pierce only wants a shot, a real shot, and not just the excuses he's been handed his whole life. Harmony wants to escape her future, the future she fears will be chosen for her. After their chance meeting, they might get exactly what they want.
Since taking over the US government years earlier, the Omni party has created a perfect existence. From consorts to job assignments, every choice, every facet of life is under their control. Each citizen has a specific role in one of the four strata. Seventeen-year-old Pierce is a Drudge, the lowest social stratum in society. For over two years, he's hoped - prayed - that his upcoming aptitude test will finally free him from his virtual slavery and give him a chance at a better existence.
When he rescues Harmony, an Artist and member of the most successful stratum, at a publicity event for her latest movie, his life takes an unbelievable twist. With his gallant act and good looks, he becomes a media sensation. Every stratum in society seeks his membership for their publicity, but as he becomes closer to Harmony, Pierce realizes what fame in the all-seeing eye of Omni is truly like. His choices will not only affect him but Harmony as well. The life Pierce thought he wanted may not be worth the cost to either of them.
In this retelling of the classic story of Paris and Helen, love must struggle against an ultramodern, ultra-controlling society. They will risk everything, even challenging the all-seeing eye of the Omni government. But will the prize be worth the cost?
In the novel, Omni, a political party known as the Omni party has taken over the U.S. government and divided everyone up into four different stratum based on an aptitude test. At the top are the Artists, and at the bottom are the Drudges, which are the two stratum the two main characters, Pierce and Harmony, are in at the beginning of the novel. I thought this was an interesting concept for a dystopian society but was also reminded of how citizens in Divergent are divided into factions based on a test they must take. That's where the similarity ends.
Pierce and his friend, Hale, are in the bottom stratum as Drudges. They haven't taken the aptitude test yet and were placed as Drudges because they grew up in a group home. Pierce was born to an unwed couple who didn't have permission from the government to have a child, and so he was taken away from them. You feel the unfairness of his situation, and you don't have to wonder where his bitterness comes from. I liked Pierce the most out of all the characters and understood him the best.
Harmony and her twin sister, Caprice, are in the top level of the social structure as Artists. While I liked Harmony, I wanted more from her. She's weak and only slightly root worthy. I think it has a lot to do with the lifestyle she leads - she gets the best of everything and treated like celebrities in our society are treated. I had a lot of hope for her, that she would develop and grow over the course of the book but didn't unfortunately.
I wanted to know more behind the Omni party and how they took over in the first place. What's the rest of the world like besides the U.S.? That's a question that rarely gets answered in dystopian novels. Since they were able to take over the entire U.S., what's to stop the Omni party from taking over other countries like Canada? Answers to questions like those would have all kinds of interesting story potential in my opinion.
Omni has a lot of potential - if there had been more character growth, then I would have given the novel at least another star. The characters were a bit lacking, and that's what I wanted the most in this story. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading Omni and liked thinking about the similarities and differences between our society now and the society in Omni. I do think if you like dystopian novels, you should pick this one up and see where it takes you.
About the Author
Andrea Murray has been teaching English for longer than most of her students have been alive. She has taught everything from junior high language arts to concurrent credit freshman composition. She lives in a very small town in Arkansas with her precocious daughter, energetic son, and race car-driving husband.
When she isn't writing or reading novels for her students, she's probably watching reality television or cheesy science fiction movies. In addition to the Vivid Trilogy, she has also written Omni, her new YA dystopian romance.
Buy her novels on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.
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