Oh, this novel. Where do I start?
A terrible disease has crippled the U.S., killing off most of its youth except for a small portion that, instead of dying, begin to develop unique powers: Telekinesis, mind control, etc. With kids being carted off to rehabilitation camps to be “cured,” the government begins to spiral out of control, along with the economy. The story follows Ruby, who escapes from Thurmond, one of said camps, in the opening chapters of the novel and teams up with a few other fugitive Freaks as they hunt down East River, a supposed haven for children like themselves.
I can’t do this novel justice. I know I can’t. But I’ll try, starting with the characters. These are people that grow on you, who seem so very real and all of a sudden–half way through the book–you realize they ARE. Or could be. You start to realize you know how they will react to certain situations, what they might say, etc. You feel like you know them. And then the world. I think Bracken’s world is so terrifying because it feels very real. The way the nation crumples and the economy crashes. The scenes of out-of-business, run-over Walmarts, and vacated trailer parks, and abandoned cars along highways all feels possible and a bit too-clearly drawn. I’ve seen a few other reviews remark on how dark this novel is. It is dark, but please don’t let that turn you away from picking it up. (I thought THE DROWNED CITIES was by far much darker, so if you’ve read that you have a point to gauge it against.) This novel gives us strong, determined characters (Chubs! Liam! ZU!!), an action-packed plot, and extremely high stakes. And friendship. Ooh, the friendships that are formed in this novel over the course of a dangerous road trip and classic rock. <3
I have a few outstanding questions (regarding what lies ahead for a few characters, as well as how the government plans to move forward with its future–the kids–locked away), but thankfully, this is the start of a new series. And after that ending–my pour heart!!!–I seriously can not wait
to get my hands on book two!
Originally posted here