Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New dystopia sequels!

In case you haven't heard, the vampires have had to move over and make room for all the dystopia YA fiction coming out these days. A couple that I read after hearing their authors speak last April at TLA were Delirium and Ship Breaker. Their authors are riding the waves of fame and have produced seconds in the series. Lauren Oliver was at the Southlake Barnes and Noble to promote the publication of the MUCH awaited sequel to Delirium, Pandemonium. Her writing is absolutely incredible. Even more incredibly, she says that plotting in her novels is one of her biggest challenges. If you have read either of these titles, you know how hard she must work at it because they are page turners! Unfortunately, I can't say much about the book itself. It would just give away too much of the suspense if I did. I'll just dangle a tidbit: following her escape from the city of Portland where she was going to be forced to have the cure for love induced upon her, Pandemonium alternates between now and then. Lena's hearbreaking exit from the city left readers wondering if she could possibly continue at all in the face of her losses. She takes it one day at a time, as we all do. But glimmers of hope come in the form of the now chapters, where she has found a group of Uncureds like herself to help her learn survival in the Wilds. Rest assured that you will LOVE this book. My prediction is that it will follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games as the next international YA bestseller/ culture-shaker-upper.

Drowned Cities is the companion novel to Ship Breaker. Not a sequel because most of the main characters are new. Tool does return as one of the protagonists in this story, which is much darker than the first. We move away from the coast and inland at the beginning of the story, away from the Drowned Cities where a small village is trying to scrape out a humble farming existence and escape the attention of the war boys. Unfortunately, Tool's escape from one of the militaristic factions in one of these Drowned Cities brings a squad of sadistic soldiers down upon them. In the village is where Mahalia and Mouse live, with a doctor who does his best to help when he can get his hands on proper medicine. The two are just children, ages not mentioned, but survivors of attacks on their cities. The good doctor took them in, but when the soldiers hold the villagers hostage, Mahalia tricks them so that she can escape. Tool, hiding in the nearby woods after a violent encounter with the squad of soldiers, has taken Mouse hostage while Mahalia returned to the Dr. to get  him medicine and free her friend. Things do not turn out as well as Mahalia had hoped, but luckily Tool values her loyalty to Mouse and agrees to help her get to one of the Drowned Cities (Washington DC) to hopefully leave America behind for a better life. Dark, indeed. A compelling read if you don't mind a little blood, violence and inhumanity.

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