She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live. – Annie Dillard
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: diAgio Publishing
Publication Date: April 7, 2016
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About the Book
Bio-chemistry whiz Everly Jax wants one thing: to know who her parents are. Raised with other repo kids in InKubator 9, she has pinned her hopes on Reunion Day, the annual event where sixteen-year-olds can meet or reunite with their parents. When her Reunion Day goes horribly awry, she and her pregnant friend Halla escape the Kube, accompanied by their friend Wyck who has his own reasons for leaving.
In a world where rebuilding the population is critical to national survival, the Pragmatist government licenses all human reproduction, and decides who can--and must--have babies. The trio face feral dog packs, swamp threats, locust swarms, bounty hunters looking for "breeders," and more dangers as they race to Amerada's capital to find Halla's soldier boyfriend before the Prags can repo her baby and force the girls into surrogacy service.
An unexpected encounter with Bulrush, an Underground Railroad for women fleeing to Outposts with their unlicensed babies, puts them in greater peril than ever. Everly must decide what she is willing to sacrifice to learn her biological identity--and deal with the unanticipated consequences of her decisions.
This story was really good, the only bad thing I could find about it was that it ended. Ha ha.
This isn't like the other young adult dystopian stories out there and it was truly a refreshing read.
The story itself hits pretty close to home. The threat of a pandemic flu, famine due to insects evolving to survive and governments regulating having children. Undocumented births are often separated from their families and either raised by another family or placed into Kubes where they are trained to be helpful to the outside world. Although the boys are often sent off to be a border guard and the girls are forced into enslaved surrogacy.
The heroine, Everly Jax, is everything that a naive girl with a thirst for knowledge and freedom should be. Halla, her best friend, is also naive and only craves to be free because she is pregnant with her boyfriend's child and knows her child will be taken from her if the Prags find out. Wyck, Everly's friend and romantic interest just wishes to be free to escape becoming a border guard. However, Everly is quite the heroine. She has such depth and emotion, which I attribute to her past. She wasn't just some Kube baby. She is bright, sarcastic and strong. She absorbs her knowledge of the new world through new eyes and applies it carefully.
"'Who are you and what are you doing in here?'
I turn. It's a lab coated woman with wide set eyes behind thick-lensed glasses. I'm willing to bed she runs the labs. I decide on a version of the truth. 'I'm Everly Jax. I worked in the labs at Kube 9 and wanted to see what the set-up was here. I miss my work.'
Her eyes are distorted behind thick lenses, giving her what I'm sure is an illusory air of vagueness. 'What were you working on?'
It's a test question. I give her a lengthy explanation of how I was working to create a virus to wipe out the locusts." (page 169)
I really enjoyed that the author made it pretty clear these kids are naive and they make pretty big mistakes but the need to survive was greater. Also, when they met up with Bulrush and it's people, it is pointed out that all the skills they learn took a lot of time. They trained daily for weeks. They were put to tasks that encouraged their skills to sharpen and they weren't expected to anything except protect each other.
"'Okay,' I say. 'Teach me something.'
'Lesson one: be alert.'
On the words, her leg comes up toward my face. I'm onto her tactics now, though, and I manage to duck away. I lunge for her, hoping to catch her off balance, but she swivels and kicks my legs out from under me with her other foot." (Page 167)
It will be interesting to see where Everly goes from here. How Bulrush and its members survive. Whether Halla has her baby and finds her boyfriend. Where Wyck goes from here on.
I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a different take on a young adult dystopian.
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About the Author
I'm the author of the Swift Investigations, Mall Cop and Readaholics mystery series.
After twenty years as an Air Force intelligence officer – serving as a squadron commander, with the National Reconnaissance Office, and at a fighter wing – I retired to parenting and writing full-time.
Spying was easier.
Connect with Laura
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Quote of the Month
“Don't be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.”
― Roy T. Bennett