In Review: The Wicked We Have Done (Chaos Theory #1) by Sarah Harian

Posted March 23, 2014 by Kim in 4 Stars, In Review / 7 Comments

In Review: The Wicked We Have Done (Chaos Theory #1) by Sarah HarianThe Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian
Series: Chaos Theory #1
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Publication date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Penguin/InterMix
Format: eARC, 272 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My rating:

Evalyn Ibarra never expected to be an accused killer and experimental prison test subject. A year ago, she was a normal college student. Now she’s been sentenced to a month in the compass room—an advanced prison obstacle course designed by the government to execute justice.

If she survives, the world will know she’s innocent. 

Locked up with nine notorious and potentially psychotic criminals, Evalyn must fight the prison and dismantle her past to stay alive. But the system prized for accuracy appears to be killing at random. 

She doesn’t plan on making friends. 

She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either.


in review my thoughts

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I began reading this book. I read a lot of new adult, but this is the first that hasn’t been entirely romance-focused. Upon reading the synopsis, I wondered how a new adult dystopian novel would differ from a young adult one. There’s not a huge difference, honestly, except the things happening here were generally more graphic than in any YA dystopian I’ve read before.

The concept of this novel was intriguing to me. Nothing is ever as it seems in a dystopian and I knew this would be no exception. The characters are sent through seriously disturbing trials that all revolve, in some way, around the crimes that landed them in the Compass Room to begin with. I won’t spoil anything for you, but expect to be seriously creeped out by the things these characters deal with. This book describes everything in a way that makes you feel like you’re right there experiencing it for yourself.

There are a LOT of complicated characters in this story. It was a little difficult to keep them straight at first, but as in most dystopians, the majority of them aren’t around for the duration. Once the cast was whittled down a bit, it was easier to focus on those who would play a major part in the story. All criminals to varying degrees, some of these people were rather disturbed, as you can imagine. Others were quite normal, despite what they did to land them in this situation. We learn early on the events that landed each and every one of them in the Compass Room, but we don’t know the details behind most of them for quite awhile. Even the background behind what landed Evalyn, the main character, in this situation wasn’t fully revealed until nearly the end of the book.

While romance isn’t the focus of the books, there’s definitely a good bit of it happening. There are also a lot of lesbian undertones in the book, and even a lesbian relationship. It was nice to see some diversity in this genre. Of course, most of that relationship develops outside of what the reader is privy to at the time. The relationship between Evalyn and Casey was perfect. It developed quickly, but I definitely wouldn’t consider it love at first sight. They made a fantastic team and I don’t think the book would have been the same without this particular pairing. It was easy to see how much they cared about each other and how much they wanted to both save themselves and the friends they made in the Compass Room as well.

The Wicked We Have Done was suspenseful and kept me on the edge until the very last page. I still have loads of questions – namely, what in the world is Chaos Theory?! – and I can’t wait to (hopefully) get some answers when the second book in the series is released in September. If you’re looking for a different type of new adult book that has some great characters and an intriguing storyline, look no further. There’s more than a hint of the sexy romance I’ve come to expect from new adult books, as well.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.


About Sarah Harian

Sarah Harian grew up in the foothills of Yosemite and received her B.A. and M.F.A. from Fresno State University. When not writing, she is usually hiking some mountain or another in the Sierras, playing video games with her husband, or rough-housing with her dog.

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7 responses to “In Review: The Wicked We Have Done (Chaos Theory #1) by Sarah Harian

    • Kim

      Thanks! 🙂 I’ve read so many mixed reviews about it, I had to see what I thought. I can see where some people might have issues with things, but I enjoyed it. If the next book is nearly as good, I’ll be thrilled.

  1. This was a great review for me, because I am still not sure how NA books differ from YA and adult. I have been getting the impression that NA was mainly romantic.

    • Kim

      I’ve been struggling with the same thing. I love YA and I love NA. The only difference I’ve really seen, for the most part, is the age of the characters and the steaminess and frequentness of the sex scenes. And maybe that is the only difference. It was interesting to read an NA book where romance wasn’t the main focus. I’m really looking forward to more of this series. I have lots of unanswered questions. 🙂