Liralen's Reviews > Threatened

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer
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Jan 02, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: africa, fiction, ya, animals, z-2014, reviewed, nature

Normally I say that YA is the candy of my reading, but if this is candy, it's very high-quality candy. Or maybe one of those 'secretly healthy' desserts? I'm not sure (and this is a lousy analogy).

Right. Well then. Here's some of what makes Threatened stand out:
-No romance. There's a hint of a past romance for one character, but that's it. I suspect that many YA readers find that sort of thing a disappointment, but I find it wonderfully refreshing. Would I still read Schrefer if he included romance in his plot? Of course -- because I know the romance wouldn't eclipse said plot, or characterisation, or other relationships. But I'm thrilled every time I find a YA novel where the author recognises that there are more interesting stories to be told than ones starring Cupid.
-The setting. The story opens in a Gabonese city, and but for subtle cues it could be any year, perhaps any century. Luc is a street kid, an orphan; although Gabon is relatively well off, Luc doesn't have access to fancy technology. Our first clues are in, for example, Prof's mention that Germany has a female chancellor. That's what I call effective, subtle scene-setting.
-The backstory is equally subtle. We know enough of Luc's history to understand where he's coming from; we know enough of Prof's background to suspect things Luc might not catch. We don't know their entire life histories, and that's okay.
-Luc is from Gabon, not Africa. It's a small moment in the book, near the end, but one that very nearly made me laugh out loud. Of course by being Gabonese Luc is African as well, but he's not stupid and Africa's not a country.

Very different book than Endangered. Equally compelling.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 2, 2014 – Shelved
January 2, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
January 5, 2014 – Shelved as: africa
January 5, 2014 – Shelved as: fiction
January 5, 2014 – Shelved as: ya
January 5, 2014 – Shelved as: animals
June 26, 2014 – Shelved as: z-2014
July 1, 2014 – Shelved as: reviewed
February 8, 2015 – Shelved as: nature

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