Book Review: Suci by Hadi M Nor

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Want to know whether Suci by Hadi M Nor is worth the read? Here is my full book review on Suci by Hadi M Nor to help you decide

Suci Review

First and foremost, I would like to thank Buku Fixi for providing this book to me in exchange for an honest review.

I received Suci by Hadi M Nor as part of the collaborative effort between BooktubeMY and Buku Fixi.

By the way, if ya’ll didn’t know, yours truly is also a Booktuber so do check out my channel if you’re interested.

In all honesty, I did not expect much from a Buku Fixi book.

I know it sounds bad.

But, if you have followed me for a VERY long time. Be it from my old blog to my Booktube, you would definitely know that books from Buku Fixi and me, DO NOT GEL!

I read three books from Buku Fixi that I enjoyed.

The three books are Garam by Ruwi Meita, Videotape by Adib Zaini, and of course Gantung by Nadia Khan.

Every other Buku Fixi book I read I completely hated. I am not exaggerating, I HATED THEM WITH A BURNING PASSION!

I will link down below after my review of Suci by Hadi M Nor, of all my rant reviews of books published by Buku Fixi.

So, imagine my absolute surprise when I actually enjoyed reading Suci. The gears were put in place for me to rev up for another rant review.

But, Suci proved me wrong, and thank God!

Because after the fiasco that was Kapal Terakhir Di Dunia trilogy, my heart can’t handle ANOTHER DISAPPOINTMENT.

Suci by Hadi M Nor is the first book in a trilogy whereby the plot takes place in a post-apocalyptic Malaysia where 23 teenagers were trained under the leadership of an elderly man, Pak Hassan, to be warriors. 

The story mainly focuses on Adan, our lead protagonist and his close friends who have completed their 5-year training and now are tasked with the protection of their village by taking up the responsibilities of their warrior duties.

From then on, these groups of teenagers will learn about the hardship that is ADULTING!

Suci’s world is a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a pandemic whereby infected humans are changed into mindless monsters and humanity is on the brink of extinction. 

At least this was the vibe I was getting from the book from the first few chapters.

Side note, I am always in awe when creative minds take inspiration from our current pandemic with the coco and turn it into something that we can consume as entertainment.

Continuing on…

From there, we hone in on the POV of Adan. 

At first, I thought okay, it will be a simple mystery novel whereby Adan would uncover the origins of the pandemic but I thought wrong because Suci is not a straightforward book.

I say this because the more I read the more complex and compelling the story became and no worries, no spoilers in this book review.

The main character in Suci is Adan. We follow the trials and tribulations that he goes through and he is a character with which you do empathize and sympathize.

I wanted to dislike him because he did some stupid mistakes but the mistakes made by him in this book, are mistakes done by a young naive boy who is lost, confused, and scared out of his mind.

And you can’t hate that, I remember being 17 and being an absolute idiot. 

Hating on Adan would just be hypocritical and kind of mean especially if you take into account he was not exposed to the world like how we are now. 

What with his world being post-apocalyptic and all.

But I must say, I don’t need nor want to know when Adan is horny over Erina or over some girl. It really takes me out of my immersion in the book. 

Also, why include such scenes?

Was it to make Adan seem realistic? Maybe? But I am pretty sure the reader can insinuate what a teenage boy does with his free time when he is alone. 

You don’t need to spell it out for me.

I was already taking this as a red flag because this was one of the issues I had with Buku Fixi books; the incessant and completely unnecessary sexual scenes/plot and the constant sexual innuendos. 

But, in Suci’s defense that didn’t happen, once the story started to pick up momentum and drama, the author (thank God) dropped this aspect of the book.

I watched Ratu Bilqis’ review of Suci (Do check her book review!) and she noted how Adan wasn’t like Katniss Everdeen who knows what she wants and her mission and honestly I didn’t even think of that. 

How I viewed Adan’s lack of survival skills even though he was trained to be a warrior (a lame one now I think about it) was the fact that, unlike Katniss, he grew up in a relatively stable village. 

A village that provided him with all basic needs and the threat of the “makhluk” is a distant threat that to him would seem unreal. 

The basic needs I am talking about here is there doesn’t seem to be any food scarcity in his village and neither was there any written text to show that his village was constantly attacked by “makhluk”. 

So, all in all, a pretty stable life.

Saying this, I have to agree on Ratu’s point where Suci does remind her and now myself of AOT (Attack on Titan) because Eren only started to focus on his mission and what he wants to do AFTER a titan ate his mom. 

Before that, his want to kill titans wasn’t an all-consuming passion.

The other characters in Suci also felt realistic and I could relate to them even when I didn’t exactly like their characters.

Writing-wise, Suci, is a book that is easy to understand.

Even for a noob like me, whose skill in the Malay language is dismal at best which is funny because I am Malay (Sarawakian Malay but still Malay). The language and linguistics used allow you as the reader to immerse yourself in the plot of the book.

The pacing of the book is fantastic! 

Nothing felt too slow nor too fast. It was very consistent throughout the book. The pacing also made the action scenes feel so BOMBASTIC! 

The action scenes truly felt so badass!

I highly enjoyed it especially since the first few action scenes were where the bad-assery came from female characters KICKING BUTT!

This is very good and I emphasize the pacing because after reading KTDD 1 and its HORRENDOUS pacing, reading this book felt like a Godsend.

Other than the pacing of the book, I also liked how the author hooked us in with another mystery towards the end. 

Which piqued my curiosity even more making me want to demand answers from the author.

There’s only one aspect I didn’t like about Suci, and that was how the abuse that was inflicted on women was heavily sexualized and how the abuse lingers. 

An example of this, was when Erina was molested by one of the guards that kidnapped her and how the scene was written I can’t explain well why it rubbed me the wrong way.

What I can say though was how it was written had the male gaze written all over it. You do not see the male abuse being written in such a descriptive nor sexualized manner.

One captive spoke up and he was beaten to death. End of story. But female abuse, just went on and on. 

I understand that towards the end of the book we were in Erina’s POV and thus we were experiencing her pain and abuse but there are better ways of writing abuse be it towards men or women without subtly glorifying or normalizing it.

Hadi M Nor, knows what his story is about and knows when to put the correct beats to his story to enthrall his readers more. I also liked the fact that the author made Adan be a more proactive character.

This makes Adan more interesting to read as well as you can see how some of the actions that he does, have consequences and Adan has to bear responsibility for his actions.

I cannot wait to read the next installment in the Suci trilogy because I must know what happens next! I need to know how this pandemic started. Why are the infected humans becoming zombiefied-plant-humans? 

So many questions and so few answers. I am really hoping all my questions will be answered in the rest of the trilogy because I am PUMPED to read more!

If you can’t guess it yet, I highly recommend this book! You can get Suci by Hadi M Nor here!

Thanks again to Buku Fixi for providing me with a copy of Suci and thanks as well to BooktubeMY for giving me an opportunity to join in with this collaboration between Buku Fixi and BooktubeMY.

I will link the Youtube channels for the other participants of this collaboration so you can check their channels out when their review for Suci is up. 

Not to mention, book reviews are not the only thing that will be done for this collaboration. We also have book discussions on all social media platforms of which the schedule I shall share below.

More on Buku Fixi

Buku Fixi was founded by Amir Muhammad and is a highly successful independent Malaysian publisher with over 200 titles published. Buku Fixi publishes books with their on-brand one-line titles of which the genre mainly focuses on contemporary urban fiction.

You can find Buku Fixi books either at their flagship bookstore in Sunway Putra Mall, Kuala Lumpur, or through their online shop. 

More on BooktubeMY

BooktubeMY is a community of book lovers who came together with the vision of not only sharing their love of books but also shedding a spotlight on Malaysian authors and publishers. 

BooktubeMY is not only a community for book enthusiasts but it also provides its members with opportunities to join in fun activities such as book tours, obtaining ARCs, bookish discussions, and many more. (Disclaimer this is from my own personal experience in joining BooktubeMY thus your own personal experience might differ from mine) 

You can get more info on BooktubeMY here. 

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