An action-packed dystopian thriller for fans of The Hunger Games
Bethany Wiggins started writing on a dare and is the author of Shifting. She lives in a desert in the United States. www.bethanywiggins.com
Gr 8 Up-The pesticide developed to kill genetically modified bees that caused a bee flu epidemic killed almost everything else as well, leaving a world in which women are scarce, honey is more valuable than gold, and survival is tenuous. Fiona Tarsis wakes in the ruin of her Colorado home with no memory of how she got there. Lack of recall, however, does not keep her from recognizing a feral attacker as her twin brother, Jonah, and her flight from him through a window is just the beginning of her narrow escapes. Fo is captured by the militia, guardians of the gates to a walled city. Bowen, a handsome neighbor from Fo's old life, fills in the gaps in her memory. She learns that parents, desperate to save their children, voluntarily put them into comas hoping to keep them stable until a cure for the epidemic was found. The plot relies on coincidence and cannot fully hide weaknesses in characterization with its breakneck speed. Fo was 13 when she went into the coma, and 17 when she awakens with a more mature body and a mind that seemingly continued to develop while she was comatose. The inevitable love story is handled with some heat. Fo reacts instead of acts in the simplistic role of girl in peril. Sent to fight to the death, she is protected in the arena by Jonah until Bowen rescues her in the nick of time. The conclusion is anticlimactic, but the roaring pace keeps world-building to a minimum and makes this a crashing dystopic roller-coaster ride.-Janice M. Del Negro, GSLIS Dominican University, River Forest, IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.