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Posted March 7, 2013
In the year 2020, several states along the US Gulf Coast are qua
In the year 2020, several states along the US Gulf Coast are quarantined, the borders shut off after a series of devastating hurricanes push through, bringing with it a strange blood disease referred to as Delta Fever. In 2025 The United States withdraws governance of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and Georgia. The fever has spread, causing too many casualties. These places are no longer safe and are cut off by thick, high walls from the rest of the USA.
Several years later, Fen lives in Orleans (what used to be New Orleans) with her tribe. Tribes are formed by blood type, and Fen’s tribe seems to be the most fortunate — they aren’t affected as badly by the disease as other blood types. When her dear friend and tribe leader dies after giving birth, Fen vows to protect the baby at all costs and make sure she gets the life her mother wanted for her. Fen is determined to get the baby over the wall and into a loving home where the baby won’t have to deal with the nightmares of life on her side of the wall. So long as she can keep the baby safe, and make it to the border before the baby gets sick, all will be well.
But the journey isn’t an easy one. When Fen meets Daniel, a research scientist from across the wall who has snuck over to look for a cure for Delta Fever, she doesn’t trust him, but he may be her only hope. As they are pursued by dangerous tribes, the two will have to put their distrust aside if their plans are to work.
I really loved the characters in this book. They didn’t feel cliché, or unoriginal. Fen is tough, determined and completely selfless, but those who know her only see a hardened, scarred and slightly dangerous girl. She’s a fighter and if anyone has come into contact with her, they know it’s best if they just leave her alone. She’s small, but she’s mean. Her loyalty toward Lydia, her friend and tribe leader, is what drives her to save the baby at any cost.
I also liked Daniel, the researcher a lot. He was also very strong and determined. Even better — the two of them didn’t fall in love. In fact, they were pretty weary of each other through the book. They felt real.
The writing is excellent. Ms. Smith writes from dual perspectives: First-person from Fen’s POV and third-person when it comes to Daniel’s perspective. Fen’s voice is perfectly captured in the language used. I could actually hear and feel her. Despite the two very distinct voices, the book never faltered at all.
What I also loved was that there was no romance thrown in just for the sake of adding it. Ms. Smith throws out the tired convention of so many disaster/dystopian books. This story is about survival and hope and that is where the focus lies. It was very refreshing.
The only thing that bothered me about the book was that the whole blood type thing confused me. Depending on your blood type, you may succumb to the fever faster or be affected by it more. I never quite grasped the gist of it. I don’t blame the author so much as myself. If I’d taken the time to write it down or map it out (I’m very visual) I may have gotten it. I was just too lazy to do so.
Fresh and thrilling, Orleans is perfect for anyone who has grown tired of the same old plot points in dystopian books. If you like tough characters, a great story and plenty of action, I would highly recommend this one.
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Posted March 31, 2013
Definitely one of the better YA dystopias in recent memory... ri
Definitely one of the better YA dystopias in recent memory... rich characters, a unique setting, and creative world building. I really enjoyed it, and would easily recommend to fans of the genre and even those who tend to prefer realistic fiction -- Orleans really felt like "realistic fiction" set just a few decades in the future!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 12, 2013
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