Children of the Different

Children of the Different

by S. C. Flynn

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Nineteen years ago, a brain disease known as the Great Madness killed most of the world’s population. The survivors all had something different about their minds. Now, at the start of adolescence, their children enter a trance-like state known as the Changeland and emerge either with special mental powers or as cannibalistic Ferals.

In the great forest of South West Western Australia, thirteen-year-old Arika and her twin brother Narrah go through the Changeland. They encounter an enemy known as the Anteater who feeds on human life. He exists both in the Changeland and in the outside world, and he wants the twins dead.

After their Changings, the twins have powers that let them fight their enemy and face their destiny on a long journey to an abandoned American military base on the north-west coast of Australia…if they can reach it before time runs out.

Children of the Different is a post-apocalyptic fantasy novel set among the varied landscapes and wildlife of Western Australia.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940153084886
Publisher: S. C. Flynn
Publication date: 09/10/2016
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 478 KB

About the Author

S. C. Flynn was born in a small town in South West Western Australia. He has lived in Europe for a long time; first the United Kingdom, then Italy and currently Ireland, the home of his ancestors. He still speaks English with an Australian accent, and fluent Italian. He reads everything, revises his writing obsessively and plays jazz. His wife Claudia shares his passions and always encourages him. S. C. Flynn has written for as long as he can remember and has worked seriously towards becoming a writer for many years. THE HIDDEN FACE (November 2017) is his second novel and the first book in the 5th Unmasking epic fantasy series.

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Children of the Different 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Jetpacksndragons_com More than 1 year ago
This story is a refreshingly new take on the whole post-apocalyptic theme. Back a few years ago I went through a phase of reading anything post-apocalyptic I could get my hands on. I really enjoyed books like the Hunger Games and Maze Runner but I quickly grew tired of what seemed to be the same old story done a thousand times over. When the author contacted me and asked if I would read and review Children of the Different, I was a little hesitant at first. I decided to check it out because it sounded like something my son would enjoy. I also checked out some reviews on a couple other sites that I follow, and they all said the same thing. “It’s unlike anything I’ve read before.” So, I gave it a whirl, and I am so glad I did. The Great Madness The story takes place in Western Australia, 19 years after a brain disease wiped out most of the world’s population. The disease was called the great madness. The people who survived all seem to have something different about their brains. Now, 19 years after the great madness, children reaching their teens go into a trance. While in this trance the kids experience something called the changeland. It’s almost like a dream that they are trying to escape. Once they wake up, they will either have some kind of new mental superpower or they will become vicious cannibalistic feral. The Twins The story follows a set of thirteen-year-old twins, Arika and her brother Narrah. The twins go through the changing and are somehow able to enter each other’s journey through the changeland to help each other get through the trials. Inside the changeland, they are being hunted by “The Ant Eater”. The Ant Eater will stop at nothing to make sure the twins do not survive. The first time I was introduced to this villain I thought it was kinda weird, maybe a little cheesy… I mean, who would be afraid of an anteater? After finishing this book though, I think I would pee my pants if I actually encountered this villain in real life. Was it any good? YES, YES, YES! I’m gonna say it now… This book was unlike anything I’ve ever read before. There are a ton of books out there that take place after the end of the world, but Children of the Different has so many unique qualities that it really stands out in the crowd. I was constantly and pleasantly surprised after each chapter. S.C. Flynn has my full attention should he decide to write more about the twins, or about this crazy new world I so eagerly want more of. Is it for me? Yes! I could go on to say if you like post-apocalyptic stories or if you like fantasy books or coming of age stories or whatever. In the end, though, this book just has a really good story.
Phil Leader More than 1 year ago
The Great Madness has decended and all but destroyed humankind. Of those that survived many have become less than human, feral, and hunt in packs preying on the rest. Narrah and Arika are twins who have been born in Australia since the madness; like all children who come after the Great Madness they will enter a coma as teenagers and their minds will enter what is known as the Changeland. This will indeed change them - some gain special powers, others return damaged and feral. Against this post-apocalyptic backdrop Flynn follows Arika and Narrah as they enter the Changeland and what follows after. The Changeland sections, which take up the first half of the story, resemble dreams and nightmares - but ones in which any threats are very real. From their experiences the twins discover that there is an adversary who wants to destroy them. Back in the real world they go on very different journeys, exploring what is left of society and finding that the effects of the Great Madness might extend beyond just the Changeland and that the very future of the human race is threatened. Flynn tells this with verve; the twins are very likeable protagonists and the reader will be rooting for them through all of their adventures. There are breathless action scenes as well as some introspection on the fragility of human life and how quickly the lifestyle we take for granted can be reduced to ashes. Some great twists are thrown in and as the last page approaches the stakes are raised ever higher. Well worth a read for anyone young adult and up who likes to read post apocalyptic and zombie style stories with interesting and challenging ideas
BOOKSNAFU More than 1 year ago
Children of the Different tells the post apocalyptic tale in an unfamiliar Australia. A strange disease has wiped out most of the world's population and as children enter puberty they go into a short coma and either come out with strange new powers or come out as animalistic creatures hell-bent on killing the survivors. The story begins with Arika and her twin brother Narrah on the cusp of adulthood. When the time comes, they are thrust into events that will alter the future. One thing that Flynn did well is show the love and affection the twins have for one another and their community. The two siblings have a special bond that allows them to communicate with each other over great distances and when the coma hits them, they are able to continue that telepathic bond through their adventure in the Changeland. Their first adventure in this strange world really set the book apart from others. One complaint that I had was the world building. We had a population crippling pandemic and it would have been nice to see how it was in the beginning of the apocalypse. I was also a little confused how some adults could survive when I was lead to believe that all of them had been wiped from the face of the earth. While it wasn't a deal breaker, it was a minor niggle in the back of my mind. The fact that the story takes place in Australia is also a nice touch as it gives us just a taste of the familiar while adding a large dose of the unknown as there aren't enough books that take place on the island continent. The fact that he didn't base the story in Europe or North America was a special treat. The story really never lets up. After a few pages in, the book just picks up steam and doesn't let up until the end. Children of the Different takes the idea of a coming of age tale and flips it on its head, while giving us quite a bit of action. It was a nice change of pace on a well-worn concept. As far as debut novels go, this one hits all the right buttons and does so with efficiency. Recommended. 7/10
CattieC More than 1 year ago
I rarely read books set in Australia, so I was very glad that Children of the Different is set there. Moreover, it was refreshing to read a dystopian novel set in an existing country other than the USA (or being based on that). The mentioning of gum trees and the like constructed a scenery of Australia that was nice to read about. In addition, the inclusion of mobile phones, computers and other technical innovations that are rarely featured in dystopian novels (at least the ones I have read) worked well. The mentioning of Perth and how it used to be, e.g. referring to modern-day Perth, made the impact of the Great Madness even more visible. As I have never been to the city myself I cannot really say if you would recognize outstanding features of the city, but I can very well imagine that to be the case. We immediately get introduced to the two protagonists of the story, the twins Arika and Narrah. Gradually, their world is revealed, and with it the hard life that they live. However, I had difficulties getting close to any of the characters. While I do not specifically dislike Arika and Narrah, I do not find them really likeable either. Toura and Zehra were the two characters I found most interesting, because they are mysterious and even though not much is revealed about their past, they are still well-rounded off. They are two strong female characters who take their faith in their own hands and try to save their people and friends. Zehra slightly fell out of favour when she forced Arika to come with them, but I believe she had good reason for her actions and in the end made up for that, too. The first half of the novel proceeded rather slowly. It could not grip and captivate me like I hoped it would. Luckily, this changed in the second half, once Narrah reached Perth and Arika met the Hermits. The story took up speed and I forgot the time while reading, as I wanted to know what happens next and even got more involved in the characters. Therefore, I believe the lack of interacting characters in the beginning did not do the story a favour. I am aware that it takes time to establish them, but Arika and Narrah were not able to carry the story on their own. They stayed more one-dimensional and their full potential was not exploited. The plot needed more people to bring it forward, just like the twins needed help from others on their missions to find each other and a cure for the Great Madness. What I could still not get into was the Changeland. At first, I thought the whole story would be set in there and was glad to read about Arika and Narrah both coming out of it more or less unharmed. In my eyes, the Changeland did not bring the story any further and was uninteresting to read about. While the idea is good, its implementing lacked tension and a twist. The Anteater was a bit ludicrous to me and the Ferals were much more of a threat to the characters. They reminded me of zombies, such as the walkers in The Walking Dead, which I enjoyed. Children of the Different is an enjoyable dystopian story with a nice setting. While the first half drags along rather slowly, the second half is much more entertaining and thrilling. There is definitely room for further sequels and exploration of the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kids get powers in the wake of a Great Madness that turns older people into feral cannibals. Other than that, everything is fine. Children of the Different hits on all the right points emotionally. It’s got stuff about growing up and keeping your loved ones close, all cleverly disguised in fights against monsters. Unlike most post-apocalypse stories, Children of the Different carries in it a sense of hope, a tone of optimism that is refreshing and cathartic. You don’t get that in this genre. Things aren’t going well for the world, what with the cannibal madness and all that, but the tone of the book is that the heroes will rise up and take care of business. The book reminds me of Goonies: individually rendered characters who join together for a neat adventure in a crazy world. When a writer whips up a first novel, one of their pitfalls often is putting every one of their ideas all in one book, all at once. But S.C. Flynn made this book just long enough, and he established his setting and his cast just enough that I need to see more. Right now.
BookWithoutPics More than 1 year ago
Children of the Different is a young adult post-apocalyptic novel set in a future Australia. A disease has wiped out most of humanity, and the only people who survived were those who had something different about them mentally–i.e. psychic powers, brain damage, coma, etc. The protagonists are a set of twins who were born after the cataclysm. Arika and Narrah live in a small enclave of survivors. Because of the virus, children who hit puberty go into a trance-like state referred to as the Changeland, and come back from it with some kind of new power or ability. That is, if they don’t come back a zombie. Arika and Narrah have always had a psychic connection to each other. When Arika enters the Changeland, the connection is weakened, and both characters find themselves alone for the first time in their lives. And at the same time, they are thrust into situations where they need to rely on and trust each other in order to survive, all while feeling alienated from themselves as their minds and bodies change. The Changeland is so insightful into the feelings one has during puberty. We many not have psychic powers, but we all change as we grow up, and often without feeling ready for it. One of my favorite elements of Children of the Different was looking at how different groups of survivors responded to the apocalypse. Arika and Narrah are part of an enclave that saw technology as the cause of disaster, and so there was a back-to-the-land ethos that permeated every aspect of daily life. In his adventures, Narrah encounters a scientist who has brought together survivors in the hope of using technology to make the world better. And Arika uncovers an ocean-worshiping cult who believe that the secret to survival will come from the oldest forms of life. I loved this book. Children of the Different is trippy and surreal, and is a thought-provoking adventure.
Graham Cope More than 1 year ago
It is nineteen years since a deadly brain disease called “the Great Madness” wiped out the majority of the world’s population. The human race is clinging on to what remains of life, living in sparse settlements dotted around the world, barely surviving. Inexplicably, the children of the survivors begin slipping into a trance at the onset of adolescence. This coma-like state is known as “the Changing.” In this altered state, the child experiences a challenging rite of passage as they journey through the dream-like “Changeland”. When they emerge from the Changing, they either display some kind of preternatural mental power or turn into “cannibalistic Ferals”. This dystopian tale set in south-western Australia tells the story of twin teenage siblings Arika and her brother Narrah. At the beginning of the book, Arika has just entered her Changing; Narrah has yet to experience his. During her trance, Arika encounters a malevolent “echidna” (had to look that up!) known as “the Anteater”. This creature appears to have the ability to control and shape the landscape of the Changing, and it quickly targets Arika. Children of the Different is an impressive debut by the author S. C. Flynn. I've read and enjoyed good YA books before, and this one reminded me of Chris Beckett's excellent Dark Eden. I loved the rural Australian setting, especially the Dreamtime-esque “Changeland”. There are some well-realised reality-bending scenes that take place there. The landscape often morphs and reforms into something else; depending on the actions of the character currently interacting with it. The teenage twins are interesting characters that grow with the story, especially as they try to come to terms with their emerging abilities. Some of my favourite scenes involve Arika discovering her new powers and using them. “She sniffed the air, sticking out her tongue as she did so. Why am I doing that? She wondered for an instant, and then she didn’t care anymore. That was what she did when she sniffed: she tasted the air. Of course she did. It tasted of lots of warm-blooded creatures nearby. [...] Her own blood was cool and slow and getting colder and slower all the time.” (Loc 1029) At times, the mood of the story is fairly bleak and disturbing, particularly when the author is describing the remains of civilization and the cities they used to inhabit. This crosses over into some of the sequences set in the Changing. In one scene early on in the tale, Narrah is lost in a tunnel during one of his trances. He finds himself stepping over the dead bodies of men, women and children who appear to have died in some kind of “frenzy”, no doubt due to the Great Madness. It is a dark and frightening scene, yet I enjoyed this darkness and felt it to be an essential part of the book, helping to enhance the atmosphere. The author contrasts these darker scenes with the brightness inherent in the relationships between the teenage characters. There is an innocence and purity to the twins deep caring for one another. This can also be seen in their interactions with some of the supporting characters, as well as with the surrounding flora and fauna. The only criticism I have is with the villain. It didn’t feel threatening enough, particularly in the first half of the book. But that is just my opinion. Overall this was an entertaining read with solid characters, a really good setting, and some nice twists to the plot. Recommended!
Blodeuedd More than 1 year ago
Audiobook edit Review Setting: A post-apocalyptic world. Most of humanity is gone in the great madness. And there are Ferals, let's just call them fast "zombies" and you get the point. They will kill you. Different groups of humans live spread out, but we only get the scope on Australia. For all I know everyone else might be dead. Story: Twins Arrika and Narrah go into the changing. This means they either gets powers, or become Ferals. Life does suck. There are dangers in the Changelands that will follow you out. I can't say too much about the story, spoilers you know. But there will be a dangerous journey. Revelations. Learning more about what is left of Australia (at least this part of AU). There are some minor characters too, but this really is the twin's book, and their journeys. It was an interesting story that had me hooked. Narration: The narrator did a great job with the book. And here is where I should say more. But you good, good narration. Nice pace, kept me interested. What a good narrator should do. Conclusion: This was a good story, I liked listening to it, and I could easily stop in the middle of a chapter and pick up the next day (since that is how I roll). When it ended I felt like I would like to see more in this world, even if there was a good solid ending,