Icons - Margaret Stohl

Icons is a fresh take on dystopia, enhanced by the well-woven sci-fi angle of the plot. And I well and truly enjoyed the read.

Now, let me just preface this by saying that Icons was one of those ‘slower’ reads for me, though that’s mostly due to absorbing the sci-fi elements mentioned above, as well as the world building, and the simple fact that I realised pretty early on that I just did not want to miss a single detail.

For that reason, I don’t really care that this one took me quite a few days to get through, because I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every moment in this book.

I’d imagine a fair bit of that has to do with Ms Stohl’s awesome ability to world build. Everything was just so well explained and described that there was simply no room for confusions—making the journey just … smooth as honey.

But, more than that, I believe it was the amazing four characters that fast became the driving force of this well-woven tale. And although a certain two of them took me longer to ‘like’, within time, I grew to love each and every one of them—I suspect at exactly the time the author intended me to.

So, let’s take a quick look at each of those characters.

First up, Lucas. There was just something about this dude that made me trust him from the off. And then I didn’t trust him. And then I did. I have a feeling this was done on purpose to keep the reader guessing. But it took me a long time to get a handle on this guy, and even then, I had him all wrong. But in a good way. Because I was very glad he turned out better than I’d expected him to.

Then we have Tima. She’s an oddity. And that just makes her all the more intriguing. And what comes across as one thing when looking at the shell is something totally other when we get a glimpse at the inside. I loved the complicated-ness of her character. Loved how she turned out to be one of the strongest in the end.

Furo. *sigh* Furo is one awesome character. He’s is so expertly portrayed that the reader has a complete reading on him from start to finish. He’ll make you fall in love. With his faults. With his strengths. With his weaknesses. He’ll make you fall in love with him. But he’s another complicated soul, and I ‘feel’ for him. Because not everything in life can turn out as you yearn for it to, and your heart will break alongside his, for sure.

And last, but by no means least, we have Doloria. She was a fabulous narrator to travel this read with. I loved her drive. Loved her passion. Her character. Her personality. Her connection with Ro (Furo). Her prominent goodness. Her ‘place’ in the tale. Just everything about this MC suckered me right in and made me want to learn more. And not just about her, but about everyone and everything she came into contact with.

Aside from those four, we also have a couple of great side characters. Fortis was brilliant. Just brilliant. Full of mystery. Full of excitement. Sure, I kinda had my suspicions about his true ‘identity’ before the reveal came, but that did little to diminish how much I enjoyed having it confirmed. And alongside Fortis, we have ‘Doc’. For something that isn’t supposed to have a personality, he had a GREAT one. I loved his relationship with Lucas. And loved ‘watching’ the unfolding of his part played and how he related to the bigger picture. There were other characters with smaller parts, who were just as vibrant and colourful, but too many to list. And each and every one of them added layers and depth to this story, as well as credibility where credibility should be lacking.

Okay then, onto the plot. I hate spoilers, so I’m not going to detail anything that happens in the book. If you want to know that, you’ll have to read it for yourself. But I will say, in an intricately-woven plot such as this, there is so much leeway for threads to be left dangling, but there weren’t any. As I already said, there was no room for confusions. Everything was so beautifully wrapped up and presented that I completed the book feeling wholly content, and with a warmth in my heart as though Doloria’s character had somehow touched me, just as she ‘touches’ so many within her world. And, whilst I won’t mention spoilers, I feel the communication snippets that are included in the book between each of the chapters, where information is slowly leaked to the reader, but with no time stamps so the reader is left trying to piece it all together and how it ties in exactly to what’s happening now, turn this novel into one big mystery waiting to be unravelled.

I’d never read anything by Margaret Stohl before Icons. I will definitely be picking up more of her books now, that’s for sure.