Author: Anna Carey
Release Date: Available
It’s been only sixteen years since a plague eradicated most of the planet’s population, leaving the remnants of society fractured and unsure. America has been overturned, giving way to New America, a monarchy run by a manipulative King. The only surely safe place left in the country is the capital, the City of Sand. Here, humanity is slowly trying to regain its vitality, the remaining children at the heart of this endeavor.
Eighteen-year-old Eve has lived her life in one of the heavily guarded Schools, where she and the rest of the orphaned girls are trained to be the world’s next outstanding teachers and artists in New America. The girls spend their hours mastering the greatest of trades, fueled by hope of their success. But the night before Graduation, Eve witnesses the School’s only agitator, Arden, escaping, for a sickening reason that leaves Eve to reconsider the foundation of everything she knows.
She immediately escapes the high walls of School, leaving the only sense of security she’s experienced since age four, in search of a refugee camp of sorts, Califia. On her way she finds Arden, along with Caleb, hoping that the increase in numbers and strength will revitalize their slowly dwindling chances of survival.
This book is a bit more post-apocalyptic than dystopian, spending most time explaining the aftermath, rather than the disaster itself, not that I at all had a problem with this. Carey’s world-building skills are incredible, never once allowing for skepticism. New America seemed completely plausible, as did its inhabitants. Arden was a brilliant and eye-opening character, contributing explanations when Eve could not. Caleb also aided the story, providing a romance that added suspense without completely overtaking the plot. Sadly, the only character with negative attributes that I could find throughout the novel was Eve.
Eve was the perfect protagonist for the beginning of the story, a naïve and brainwashed teenager just beginning to understand the rest of the world, though as the story went on, she failed to evolve. A character, or anyone for that matter, out in the wilderness for that amount of time has to learn something. Eve seemed to be almost frozen, making the same glaring mistakes she made in the earlier portions of the novel, remaining just as naïve. Luckily, this hardly tarnished the book as a whole; it’s still something I absolutely wouldn’t go without reading.
Review by Alex
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