by Madeleine Henry
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Publisher: New Heroes Media
Publication Date: June 2014
Page Count: 182
Source: via author (thank you!)
Goodreads Synopsis: One wall divides life from darkness. After the worldwide Blackout, America built a concrete wall--the Frontier--across the middle of the nation to isolate its precious electricity in the top half. Everyone below the Frontier was forsaken, and now only a few survive in the grim region known as the Dark Zone.
Sixteen year old Phoenix Troublefield endures the dark with his girlfriend, Star Windsong. When America announces that it will trade electricity for immigrants, Phoenix and Star sacrifice themselves for the power that might save her younger brother. On the other side of the Frontier, they find America is not what they expected, and instead they are thrown into a shocking and deeply personal contest that threatens to destroy their love. When the chance comes to escape back into the Dark Zone, it may already be too late.
GOODREADS . AMAZON
Review: I was on Twitter one evening (I go back and forth with Twitter, some days I really enjoy it, and others I really forget to check it), and saw that author Madeleine Henry was offering to let some bloggers read and review her YA dystopian book. Of course, for anyone who has been around this blog for awhile, you probably know that I jumped on that offer as quickly as possible. It is my favorite genre, after all. I was excited for the chance, but disappointed that I had so many other books that I needed (had) to read before I could get to this one. Last week I was finally able to pick it up, and let me tell you, I could not put it down!
I was not really a fan of The Hunger Games series, and while parts of this book reminded me of that story because of a bit of the plot, I felt it was done so much better. I had high hopes for this book because the synopsis sounded so good, and I was not disappointed. The characters were amazing, the plot had me reading, and I always had to know what was going to happen next. I read this book in two days, and that's only because I had to work on things for the new school year and what not.
One of my favorite things about this book is that the main character is a BOY. That's right, a male lead character, and he was amazing. He was strong and confident, yet he had a weakness; the girl that he loved more than anything else. The world has fallen apart, a wall has been built up to divide the country, and Phoenix lives on the side without electricity, the Dead Zone. This was a new turn for the whole injustice and government control that you always see in dystopians.
The characters are already dealing with so much, and suddenly they are made an offer. They can get some electricity in the Dead Zone as long as they are willing to send one young DZ from each home across the wall to participate in "The Carnival," something that they don't know much about. Phoenix agrees for one reason, he is in love with Star. Star's brother is ill and needs electricity in order to recover, and so Phoenix agrees to do whatever he has to in order to try to help Star. I LOVE a strong male character who also cares for others. That is something that we do not get to see with many man characters in YA, and I love it.
The Carnival is what makes me think the most of the Hunger Games. I don't want to give away too much since most of it is not in the synopsis, and I think it's something that readers should get to learn about and experience for themselves, but it ends up being awful for our characters, especially for Phoenix. They really need to win, though those outcomes aren't good, but it seems like losing would make things even worse for them. There is a lot of faking and tricking that must take place, which is very similar to THG, but I feel like it was written SO much better.
I love that Henry did not just focus on the main characters, either. There were SO many great minor characters within this story. A lot of them had very full stories, and you could tell that the author spent a lot of time developing them, even if their role was not very big. Everything was written so beautifully and went together so well. There was technology that seemed realistic for the future, and I one hundred percent believed that everything that was happening was possible.
I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to read this book. It has quickly become one of my favorite YA dystopians, and that is saying a whole lot based on the number of them that I read. I feel very lucky that I was on Twitter at that time, and I cannot wait to see where this story picks up and continues. Needless to say, I will be reading this whole series whenever I can get my hands on the books. Thank you again for allowing me to read your book, Mrs. Henry. You created a wonderful, intriguing world, and your writing was incredible. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone.
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0