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Posted July 28, 2014
LM Preston is a talented storyteller with a vivid imagination, which she clearly demonstrates in her dystopian novel, The Pack. I enjoyed reading the story and especially liked the character of Shamira, the main protagonist. Shamira is blind but she does not allow her disability to stand in her way. Matter of fact, if she didn’t periodically comment on her blindness, I was so captivated by the story, and the many incredible feats that she did, I completely forget about her blindness… hunting villains who were kidnapping kids from her home town, Shamira displays remarkable discipline and poise as she go about hunting villians. She has extraordinary strength and abilities, which she seldom utilized to full capacity, until her world gets turned upside down when her beloved brother, David, was kidnapped by villains who are targeting the Elite Forces and their families. Shamira will leave no stone upturned in her efforts to find her brother, and woe to the ones responsible.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 25, 2012
This book has so many kewl things in it! Its fast paced and the main character is a blind girl named shamira. She learns to do the one thing that she feels will hurt her most-trust. She also fights the power in her that she feels will consume her. This is an actioned pack book that is filled with twists, turns at the end I garenti that youll be gasping for breath!!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 10, 2011
Shamira is an unusual teen, in that she lives on Mars and does not remember anything about Earth. She is also unusual because she is blind, but does not want to undergo a surgery that will give her back her eyesight. Her parents urge her to get the procedure, but she likes to rely on her instincts and her other senses, which she uses to fight criminals. When kids start disappearing on Mars and Shamira's brother's life is in danger, she is forced to take matters into her own hands THE PACK is a great sci-fi novel with a strong and fearless female main character. Shamira is a unique character, which makes her story intriguing from the beginning. And it's more than a traditional science fiction tale, because it incorporates elements of drugs, violence, and adventure. Those who love dystopian fiction will also be drawn to the conspiratorial nature of a society spinning out of control and a corrupt authority.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 3, 2010
What I loved about this book was first the main character was a female of color who also had a disability. She was blinded but did not let that stop her for doing anything that she needs to be done. In fact she does have enhanced abilities that allow her to do things that most "average" people could not do physically. She hates pity and even hides her other abilities so she doesn't hurt those around her. Shamira also feels that with her abilities she can help figure out what has happened to the missing on Mars. While doing this, she gets involved with some of the kids that have been under the thumb of "Monev" who are now willing to do anything for their freedom and the freedom of the other captives. The impetuous and hope of youth come through and Shamira has to figure out if she can trust those that are putting complete trust in her.
This is a fast paced and interesting sci-fi story. I'd say my only criticism is that sometimes I felt that Shamira was too immature. I understand how that someone who has not had a lot of positive social experiences, and being needful of her mother's acceptance could seem very immature. However, she was also independent, and this seemed to be at odds with her immaturity. I did feel that once she met more of the pack of kids, she matured.
I give this book 3 1/2 stars and I really recommend this to those that are looking for a sci-fi YA story.
Posted August 2, 2010
LM Preston is back with a vengeance with her second young adult novel, 'The Pack.' The action-packed drama takes place on a colonized Mars where children are disappearing at an alarming rate. But the kidnappings are not random. The perpetrators are targeting the sons and daughters of the planet's security force. Their goal is to create chaos on a global scale in order for their illegal drug trade to flourish. The children are merely pawns in an intergalactic game. Until they take Shamira's brother, David.
Shamira is a teenage girl whose adolescence is super-charged. She is longing for a perfect first kiss. She is a techo-geek with exceptional computer hacking skills. A botched childhood medical procedure fuels an intense inner rage providing her with extraordinary fighting abilities. And her parents are both members of the security force, thereby placing a bulls-eye squarely on her back.
Being blind, it would seem that Shamira is an easy mark. But make no mistake, she does not think of herself as anyone's victim. She is a lethal force similar to Ben Affleck's visually impaired hero in 'Daredevil.' Her other senses are magnified. She can hear an individual by the sound of their approaching footsteps. She can hone in on a person's unique scent. She can feel the slightest change in temperature through her skin. She uses her disability to lure enemies into a false sense of superiority. "Shamira always fought her own battles - some of which she even created because she hungered to fight. There was an urge inside her, something she barely controlled. She thought to herself, I may be blind, but I'm definitely not helpless."
That is until she meets Valens, a dead ringer for a curly-haired Justin Timberlake. He tries to save her from an attack that ironically she orchestrated. Her frustration is evident, but there is no denying their mutual attraction. Shamira doesn't want his pity, but little does she know that she has secured his admiration. As an outcast, Shamira isn't good at letting people in, but Valens is determined to breach her defenses. What ultimately brings them closer together is their common goal to find the missing children whose number includes their own siblings.
Like Bella and Jacob in the 'Twilight' saga, they favor motorcycles to follow leads throughout the decrepit underbelly of Mars society. They join forces with other teens who are victims or recent escapees of the underground crime organization, Monev ("venom" spelled backwards, indicative of their lucrative narcotics dealings). To topple the power structure from within, they form a pack of informants, freedom fighters and jailbreakers.
After a trip to Earth, Shamira returns to the fight physically changed. Yet her transformation doesn't ease her insecurities.
Preston creates technology rich in detail. Generators pump fresh oxygen into the air. Holograms relay messages. Bejeweled rings serve as tracking devices. Skin-tight suits offer protection from firepower and the poison of laser shots. Motorcycles are named like pets and obey verbal commands.
Preston's writing includes violence, swearing and sexual innuendo. Teenagers will find these themes commonplace in most entertainment media, but parents should be advised that this book may not be appropriate for younger readers.
Overall, 'The Pack' reinforces the adage - never underestimate an underdog.
Posted July 13, 2010
I believe everyone who's ever read any of my reviews already knows that I'm a sucker for strong female protagonists, especially in YA literature. Think Katsa from Graceling, Sylvie from The Splendor Falls, Janie from Wake... well, Shamira Nobel is one of those girls.
The Pack is about a group of kids on Mars who, once a major drug dealer starts to kidnap and kill off their family members, need to find a way to stay alive and help those they can. I've read it during one lazy afternoon, as I found myself hooked to the adrenaline pouring out of its pages. I've read something slow, atmospheric just before The Pack, and the change in pace was refreshing.
The greatest part of the novel is Shamira, a girl who went blind at an early age and had to learn to depend on other senses than her eyesight. Shamira accepts her blindness as a part of who she is and doesn't consider herself handicapped. She is a caring girl, protective of her little brother, yet fierce and dangerous in the battle. The romance between her and Valens develops slowly, largely due to the fact that Shamira believes that the last thing in the world she needs is a broken heart. It's cute to watch how bad Valens is trying to prove his loyalty and his love, and, of course, eventually wins her heart.
There were parts that really made me laugh hard, others were just engrossing. Part of why I lowered my rating is the large amount of violence. I'm not being squeamish here, I just think that the same effect could have been achieved with much less broken noses. The very fact that there are children being abused is depressing enough.
The Pack is a fast- paced, action-packed novel that I'm sure Sci-Fi YA buffs will dote on. It's an easy, fast read, a perfect summer pastime.
Posted May 18, 2010
I would actually give this more a 2 1/2 stars.
The story being told here is one of Shamira, a blind teenage girl living in a colony on Mars. Her parents are part of the Elite Security Force and, as a result, she is also in training for the same job. She has super-human strength and agility.
The positives for me in this book were that was was full of action and the story really did have twists and turns in it that kept me guessing. It's written for a very young teen (I'd even argue 8-10 if it weren't for a little bit of harsher language and some violent scenes). The story is told in such a way that I could easily imagine it being read out loud.. or told as a story being made up as you go along.
There were some inconsistencies that really started to bug me, however. Shamira's blindness is used only for the first portion of the book, but things are left unexplained - such as how she could use her computer to get information and how, after her sight being restored, she was able to read and recognize objects from a distance. I think I would have liked the story more had Shamira's eyesight not been restored and her kick-butt actions taken place in spite of that handicap.
The character development of Shamira was otherwise solid. She knew who she was and remained consistent throughout the story. There's a good message in the book about family relationships and overall, the story was a wholesome one.
Posted March 4, 2011
No text was provided for this review.