In the dystopian world of “The Wicked we have done”, criminals who are trialed and quite certain to be condemned to death, have the choice to change their sentence to one month in a prison where their only goal will be to survive: the Compass Room.
A month during which their morality will be tested and monitored, in order to prove whether they really are evil or not. The few survivors will be released.
The book starts as Evalyn enters the Compass Room with other young criminals, and we follow what she experiences, as we learn thanks to flashbacks what lead her to this place.
I really enjoyed reading this book, as I thought it was well written and I appreciated the original plot of this dystopian fiction, and the thought-provoking themes addressed by it (death penalty, redemption,…).
“I think that all of us – every criminal put in the Compass Room – confronts their guilt. The very last moment they could have reversed their actions? Could have said no to inflicting pain”
“Then they have the choice of being a villain, or a coward, or a hero.”
Alternating what was happening in the Compass Room with flashbacks of Evalyn’s previous life gave the story an engaging rhythm and kept me captivated throughout the book.
What I enjoyed the most was the wide range of characters. Though I had a hard time at the very beginning, to get who was who, pretty quickly all characters became distinct, each with their own story and personality. Some of them were simply evil, but the main characters were more complex.
I also loved the relationship development between the characters, going from tension and distrust, to friendship and even love, through the lens of the treat of their possible imminent death.
“I’m not leaving you until I’m dead,” I say, and I mean it.
“Please,” he begs.
“You aren’t dying before me. I won’t let it happen.”
I am looking forward to the second book in this series!
** ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**