Early Review: The Registry by Shannon Stoker

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Registry by Shannon Stoker

The Registry saved the country from collapse. But stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained by the state to fight to their death.

Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous thoughts. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom.

All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.

Years ago America was about to collapse, but The Registry changed that. Girls are raises to be subservient and seek only to achieve beauty and perfection for their future husband that will one day purchase them. Boys are abandoned at birth to be raised in their early years in an orphanage, then thrown onto the streets until it is time for them to serve in the military. Enlistment in the military nor The Registry is not voluntary for either gender. But that's their lot in life, and the people don't seem to know any different. At least Mia never questioned her role in life until a warning came from her older sister which opened her eyes to the possibility that things aren't as they seem. To avoid her fate, Mia escapes her family's clutches to go on the run to Mexico. But she waited too long as the man who was determined to buy her for his own isn't taking no for an answer and when he finds her, she may not survive his wrath. Running is truly a game of survival, one she may not have a chance to win.

The world behind THE REGISTRY can be likened to a train wreck. The events in it were so horrible, yet you just can't bring yourself to look away. The situation the people were was so horrific, yet none of them seemed to realize just how terrible it was. Perhaps it was a case of them not knowing better, but honestly it turned my stomach. In fact I almost dreaded turning the page whenever I finished a chapter, because each new one started off with a message from either "The Boys Guide to Service" or "The Registry Guide for Girls." And my disgust grew with each and every single one. It was all just sickening. I have to give the author credit for creating a world that elicited such a response from me, even if it wasn't a positive one. I read to be impacted or drawn into the story, and that definitely happened here. That being said, horrific world that sucks you in or not, there were a good bit of plot holes and inconsistencies that left me feeling rather underwhelmed by the end. I won't get into most of them to avoid spoiling things, but I will touch on one thing that happened pretty early in the book. Mia's parents showed absolutely NO emotion at all when one of their daughters came to them trying to escape her horrible situation. In fact they ensured she made it back, despite knowing what it would mean. All they saw was a payday. Granted I guess to some extent you would distance yourself from children that you know you would have to sell some day, but to the extent that Mia's parents behave, just sparks as unrealistic to me, especially when you consider that it's implied that their lack of care is the normal.

Even when you put those plot holes aside, I still had a hard time with this book as the characters had absolutely no substance, save for one, which I'll get into in a minute. Mia is as air-headed and flighty (and of course the most gorgeous girl ever to be put in the registry) as they come, and granted I realize she was raised and literally groomed to be that way, but come on, I needed something more than I was given to attach to. Her friend, who is supposed to be so incredibly brilliant that she has such a low score that she will never be chosen to be a wife, in all reality seems to be even more of an airhead than Mia herself. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to strangle the pair of them throughout the book. Then you add in either of the boys from the love triangle, and things don't get much better. They both seems to fill some formula character need, and it all was rather predictable. The only character who had any real substance was the man chasing Mia, determined to claim her. He was so vile and malicious and vindictive, that you couldn't help hating him. In all honesty he was the only real personality in the entire book, and consider just how horrible he was, it did not make the read very pleasant.

THE REGISTRY is one of those books that could have been great due to its interesting premise, but ultimately fell flat. Between the massive amounts of plot holes, and characters that were two dimensional at best, this one just really didn't work well for me. In all honesty, the only reason I finished this book was because my curiosity got the better of me. Well that, and the fact that I had thought this was a stand alone, so I was expecting to have some sort of gratification in the end. But of course that didn't turn out the way I had hoped because things were not wrapped up at all, and there looks to be a sequel in the works due to the very small excerpt at the back of the book. That being said, I won't be continuing on with this series as it earns a pass from me.

(Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss)



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