Author: Jane Dougherty
Published: March 22nd 2016
Length: 206 pages
Source: Received for review
I think once in a while we all like to read a dystopian, post-apocalyptic sort of novel. I don’t know if that happens to anyone else but sometimes i just crave a particular genre/topic and i need to read a book that contains it. That is the genre this book falls under, so here’s the synopsis: (taken from Goodreads)
Carla and Tully are picnicking in the quad of their international high school in central Paris when the end of the world begins. They are sucked into a wormhole that spits them out five years later to find that the world is a freezing desolation but still hanging on, waiting for something even worse to finish it off…the something worse turns out to be the Burnt Man and his horsemen.
Taken prisoner by the Flay Tribe to their lair in the ruins of a shopping mall, Tully is forced to become a warrior, while Carla joins the other girls as a kitchen slave and comfort woman.
Tully might like the idea of playing soldiers, but Carla knows what is waiting for the girls when the food runs out, and it isn’t pleasant. The supermarket holy man’s vision of the return of the Burnt Man and his demon friends drags Tully back to reality—when the four fiends are reunited, the Apocalypse will really begin. Carla and Tully don’t plan on being there when that happens.
But in this post-Abomination world where only the young and brutal have survived, where food and fuel are running out, and the climate is plunging into another final ice age, there is nowhere to run—except down another wormhole, with no idea of what might be waiting for them at the other end.
I actually liked quite a few aspects of this book, but at the same time there were some things that made were left unexplained… Many dysoptian novels of this type tend to make the cause of the ‘apocalypse’ an outbreak of disease or some other reason. I really liked that it demonstrated the consequences of global warming, making the reason for all the chaos… US! You can probably tell from the title that one of the main protagonists is of colour, so that was another thing, we had a diverse cast! As readers I think most of us enjoy it when a book is written from multiple perspectives, this book was written from about three perspectives which gave us an insight into what happened leading up to the present.
Characters: Now I’ve praised the book I’d like to address some things that I put a little question mark next to… One of the biggest YA tropes is the idea that we have ‘the chosen’. That our main characters is so special and unique and precious only they can save a certain situation. OR only they have a desired characteristic. Now I don’t have much of a problem with authors using some YA tropes, sometimes its those aspects, that if done well, can make a book fairly successful. But at the same time I’m not here for the when a book exaggerates and puts emphasis on the fact that the main character is special, is somehow superior to the rest. Alright clearly I need to make a blog post on this! Now I would like to say that although this story is around 214 pages I definitely saw character development as the story line progressed. OMG another thing that doesn’t really make much sense to me, when a character magically gains survival skills, or like any fighting skill as soon as they need them. It just doesn’t make sense and is frankly quite unrealistic.
World Building: This was actually done alright, our characters have to inhabit an empty shopping mall, and so the story is based there. This story included flashbacks to when basically the world broke into chaos, and I found that the author was able to immerse us in each setting she took us to.
I am a bit conflicted as to how to conclude my review because of this. I didn’t find that there was anything particularly bad about this book, but at the same time it didn’t blow me away. If you’re craving to read a short post apocalyptic story, this would be a decent read. I don’t know if that happens to anyone else but sometimes i just crave a particular genre/topic and i need to read a book that contains it.