Review: Pulse (Pulse Trilogy #1) by Patrick Carman, Young Adult Dystopian Novel

PJV Quickie: In light of all the opposition to this book on Amazon, I didn’t know what to expect. But, as usual my opinion deviates from popular thoughts on the matter. I thought the book was original, the characters different then the normal YA prototypes and there  were a lot of great surprises throughout the book to keep me interested.

[frame align=”left”]Young Adult Dysoptian[/frame]
Title: Pulse
Author: Patrick Carman
Series: Pulse Trilogy #1
Type: Young Adult Dystopian
Published: February 26th 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Amazon Vine
Goodreads Purchase Author


I do believe the synopsis of this book negates the beginning of the book, unfortunately. You learn that there is a girl, Faith Daniels, who can move things with her mind. But, within the pages of the book Faith doesn’t discover her ability until a lot of things have unfolded first. Faith Daniels lives in a world that is crumbling around her. The majority of the human population has taken to living in these pod type of communities, large city-states that house over 90% of the population.  The social interplay of the novel struck me as similar to some of the New World Order conspiracy theories. Urbanize the human race and put everyone in their proper place, assigned jobs, public transportation etc. Yet, the humans that strive to stay “free” live on the outskirts, barely surviving, living in crumbling cities that haven’t had infrastructure since the States took over.

Faith is among those in the crumbling outskirts of a looming State. Her classes are held on a tablet type of device, her school has barely enough kids to fit in one classroom. The world-building was definitely unique, especially when you start to weave the antagonist into the threads, along with the underlying paranormal motivations of the novel. Carman writes unique, yet, over-the-top characters that either work with you or they don’t. Faith isn’t the usual female YA heroine, she’s rough around the edges, a bit immature and volatile.

Carman’s writing style is also different from the usual fare. I think HarperTeen took a chance on this one and I think you need to decide for yourself if it works for you. He writes in Third-Person Omnipresent, which can be very confusing as you “head-jump” and this usually bothers me. I abhor omnipresent narrators, but this one actually didn’t bother me. Maybe I’m being lenient on my books as of late (you wouldn’t know that if you saw my DNF pile) but, I thought it was well implemented and because the majority of the time we were following Faith, the quick jumps into other characters were overlooked.

I did find fault with the plot though, even though the world-building was original, the smaller condensed world-building of Faith and her new found abilities and community were a bit convoluted. It goes from High School drama and talk of new jeans — to mass murder and superhero abilities. Characters flying through the air and beating each other with blocks of cement that were literally just holding hands and talking of Dr. Seuss.

My final impression as I closed the book was that I really liked it. But, I do understand where a critical reader could have a field day with this one. One, plus two just didn’t always equal three, even though the answer was a fun one. In my opinion, I feel the author cheated his way through this book, but I was okay with it. Call me a hypocrite I was just looking to be entertained and Patrick Carman entertained me.


Recommended for young readers 12+. There is a bit of heavy topics but nothing that is inappropriate for young readers. Fans of dystopian and science fiction should enjoy. If you like authors like Dan Wells and Marie Lu you should be entertained.

Similar Young Adult Dystopian Novels & 3 Star Ratings:


  1. Partials by Dan Wells
  2.  Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Book 1) by Richard Paul Evans
5 Stars[relatedratings=3]
Dystopia CoverLove ARCReview Intriguing