Title: Released (Agents of Evil #1)
Author: Megan Duncan
Release Date: April 1st, 2011
Rating: 4.5 stars
After a demon apocalypse kills their parents and everyone they know, 17-year old Abby Phillips, her brother, Carter, and friend, Max flee their home to travel through what has become the wastelands of America. When radio transmissions of a resistance offering shelter and safety cease, Abby is tempted to give up. Struggling to overcome life-threatening obstacles in their dangerous journey, Abby and her companions quickly discover there are much worse things lurking in the dark than they could have ever imagined.
I first started reading dystopian novels early this year, and every one of the dystopian novels I read were amazing! I was not disappointed with any of them, and I’m happy to say that Released was a magnificent read as well!
Released is set in world where demons are taking over, and Abby, Carter and Max are the only survivors in their town. Abby and her companions flee their town to take refuge in the only place where shelter and safety may be offered - Air Force Base in New Mexico, which they heard through radio transmissions. However, their only hope may be shattered when the radio transmissions suddenly stop broadcasting, and their lives are on the line as they encounter even more demons along the way.
I thought the setting and world-building were both done brilliantly. I was able to envision this isolated and bloody town that’s almost been completely destroyed, with demons lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce when least expected. I also liked how Duncan was able to create such a dark, dangerous and gloomy atmosphere. It was like I was part of the world as well.
I really liked Abby as a character! She was daring and strong – exactly what I look for in a heroine! In fact, I’d say she’s one of my favourite heroines from a YA novel. (I really don’t like weak, and i-need-my-boyfriend-to-protect-me-or-else-I-won’t-survive sorts of characters.) I absolutely loved Max as well! He was caring, protective and I loved how he always teased Abby which lightened up the otherwise dark and forlorn atmosphere. Taya really annoyed me sometimes, but that’s what she’s supposed to be like, and I thought Duncan did a fantastic job capturing her feelings and character.
The overall story was fast-paced, which I liked. However, every so often, there were certain scenes that slowed down the book for me. I thought certain details were unnecessary, but afterwards the pace picked up again when something major began to happen. The action scenes were literally AMAZING. Half the time I felt like I was there fighting off those demons as well with a huge gun and knives slashing back and forth.(I wish!)
All in all, Released was an action-packed, and thrilling read! I cannot wait to read the second book and join Abby, Max, Carter and Taya on their next journey!
Thank you to Megan Duncan for providing me with a copy to review!