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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.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 20, 2014
It seems like Mother Nature just won¿t let go of the Gulf Coast
It seems like Mother Nature just won’t let go of the Gulf Coast and after its latest attack and its aftereffects, it has been decided to separate this area from the U.S. A string of hurricanes, a fever, and then a quarantine has left the citizens of the Gulf Coast isolated. They built a wall to divide the people from the rest of the country just hoping to keep The Fever contained but this is only the beginning. Welcome to Orleans. The citizens who are now cut off from the rest of the U.S., group themselves together by blood type, a new type of segregation that has deadly consequences. The concept of the book was fascinating and being a weather fanatic, I understood the magnifications that weather could play upon this part of the country but I had a hard time actually believing that the U.S. would separate. With everything we do as a nation and contend with, why we would do that to our own citizens, I just couldn’t fathom. I tried to put this in the back of my mind as I read this story and it truly was enjoyable reading about the wars between the blood types and the hierarchies within the strains. Their fought for survival when the world around them was so bleak and new, was constant. They acted like tribes of individuals banding together for survival, fighting for rights, and power. When Daniel entered the picture, a new twist was thrown into the book. Working with the military to stop The Fever, Daniel lived on the other side of the wall but needs to cross over to Orleans to perfect his cure for the virus. Armed with special equipment, he ventures inside the quarantined territory not knowing what to expect. He may think he came prepared with his gadgets and his vials of virus but until he met Fen, the rooftops, Mr.Go, and Father John, he didn’t really know Orleans. There’s a lot to follow in Orleans as the individuals move around constantly, fear of another group and death. Daniel has a mission but he’s walking into dangerous territory and people see him as prize. Daniel needs to be successful; he might be Orleans only chance of redemption.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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.