The assault by the virus on Kaelyn's neighborhood begins as an itch that you just can't satisfy. Then comes the coughing, the hysteria, and eventually...moreThe assault by the virus on Kaelyn's neighborhood begins as an itch that you just can't satisfy. Then comes the coughing, the hysteria, and eventually death. And no one is safe, but as the population and Kaelyn soon learns, there isn't anywhere to run to either. Which results in chaos and havoc that threatens to destroy everything and everyone she knows.
This book greatly reminded me of Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Which, if you know me at all, is one of my all-time favorite books. There is something really compelling about being in the thick of a crisis and learning how to survive until either help arrives, or the storm calms. The Way We Fall definitely falls into that category, and even shares the same narrative style (diary format) with the aforementioned Life as We Knew It.
However, unlike Miranda, Kaelyn has a lot more warning, and information, about what is specifically going on. And, as far as she knows, this illness is strictly confined to her small island in Canada. But, that's not to take away from the very scary situation. Initially, it isn't known how the virus spreads or how to prevent it. Even with further research, the hospital is flooded with patients, and there isn't any reliable way to get information out to people.
Kaelyn is a great narrator. She isn't whiny, takes the situation into her own hands, and is a great protector of her family. And with the diary style narrative, you really get a sense of her feelings as some truly horrible things happen to her and her family. There is also a very satisfying romance that ensues.
But, what I loved about this story was that there were so many characters that just did the right thing. Of course, there were plenty that were out to save their own skin and just do whatever they had to survive. But, for every one of those, there was another that was willing to make huge sacrifices and fill a need.
Another fantastic perk is that, from what I can tell, the book is pretty scientifically sound. At least in the capacity that I didn't have to suspend any disbelief about how the virus spread, or how it affected people.
So, there you have it. A satisfying apocalypse book with a plague, romance, and likeable characters. If that isn't enough to get you to pick it up, I don't know what is.(less)
It has been several generations since the human race was changed forever through a disastrous genetic ex...moreReview posted July 18 at Emily's Reading Room.
It has been several generations since the human race was changed forever through a disastrous genetic experiment that caused the Reduction. The Luddites, who despise innovation and technology, keep the Reduced on their estates as slaves.
Elliot North is the youngest daughter of the North estate. As a Luddite, she is born to social privilege. But, even so, the estate is near financial ruin. The Luddite's control is slipping as a new generation of children that are innovative and bright are born to the Reduced. Elliot's childhood friend, Kai, is one of these children. When Elliot does not run away with Kai to the Post enclave, she hears nothing from him for four years. And when he re-enters her life, it is obvious that much has changed.
My excitement for this book has been slowly building for months. I have not read Persuasion, the Jane Austen novel that inspired For Darkness Shows the Stars, but am a fan of Austen's other works. My anticipation was further built by the raving reviews that were popping up in my google reader and goodreads page.
I could not imagine a more satisfying story. I was up late into the night on a Friday, and spent a good portion of the day Saturday devouring every single page. Combining the elements of a world torn apart by a disaster that decimated so much of the human race, with the classic story that Austen created, it was a match made in heaven for me. Though the story is not heavy on the elements surrounding the genetic experiment that lead to the ruin of humanity, there is enough to make me suspend disbelief to fill in the holes. And I have to admit that as the daughter of a botanist that works with genetically modified plants, I was very much cheering Elliot on. In fact, through the novel I was firmly in Elliot's court and never wavered in my support of everything that she did, even though at times her reasoning was flawed.
In regards to Kai, I have to say that his coldness to Elliot at times took my breath away. I think that this was very cleverly offset by the letters they secretly wrote to each other as children that were interspersed throughout the novel. It is obvious that both Elliot and Kai were hurt deeply by Kai's departure. And with each cutting remark, I was heartbroken for Elliot. I wanted to protect her and just shake Kai. And yet, I wanted Kai to understand and overcome his disappointment and grief, and just work it out!
This book was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. The eventual romance is one of the best that I've ever read and ranks right up there with my favorites. I'll happily admit to having a lump form in my throat several times, and even shedding a few tears at the end. A re-read of this story will definitely be in order very soon. If you haven't read For Darkness Shows the Stars, believe me when I tell you that it deserves to be next on your reading list.(less)
*June 2012 UPDATE* The audio version is FANTASTIC!
I couldn't believe that this was a book by a debut author. I kept looking around, sure that she had...more*June 2012 UPDATE* The audio version is FANTASTIC!
I couldn't believe that this was a book by a debut author. I kept looking around, sure that she had other books out somewhere. The writing quality is amazing, and is reminiscent of a more experienced author.
The summary mentions a poetically minimal writing style. There are no quotation marks, and the words are spelled phonetically. This gives an element to the story that will turn some people off, and others will love it. I loved it. Which is saying something, because prose or different formatting will sometimes turn me off to a story. I didn't find the writing style distracting, but found it a very unique way to show a part of Saba's character. She is uneducated, but is very smart.
Saba's struggle is made evident early in the book as she searches for her brother after he is taken by cloaked horsemen. She doesn't know where to begin looking for him, and she's never ventured outside her home, but she shows remarkable courage in her determination to find him. No matter the cost.
That doesn't mean that Saba is without her faults. She despises her younger sister Emmi, and does not want her tagging along. However, throughout the book, their relationship develops, and Saba learns to forgive Emmi for many of the things that she (wrongfully) holds her responsible for.
With all of these inner conflicts, there are many external forces trying to rip Saba apart as well. I was absolutely glued to this book, and had to know how things worked out for Saba. Her journey is terrifying and romantic all at once. And, in reference to romance, be advised that our love interest is not introduced until much later in the story.
This is a title that I think many who love dystopian fiction will love. If the actual formatting on the page and spelling doesn't work for you, I'd suggest giving the audio book a try. I listened to the first couple chapters on Simon and Schuster's website, and the narrator is very good.
If you've read the book, let me know what you thought of it. Does prose bother you when reading a book?(less)