Praise for Heather Terrell
"Heather Terrell excavates a richly realized and adventurous world from the iced-over wreck of our own."
—William Alexander, New York Times bestseller and 2012 National Book Award winner
"Fans with an insatiable appetite will eat this up."
"Adult author Terrell, in her books for teens, weaves fresh complexity... with smart, thoughtful, and resourceful heroines."
"A suspenseful novel that’s as smart and well written as it is inventive, original, and surprising."
—M. J. Rose, author of The Reincarnationist series
“A dystopia set in a post–global-warming future: plucky heroine, lying leaders, ridiculous endurance tests and, yes, two hot guys.”
"A remarkable story.... highly recommended."
After Eva's twin brother, Eamon, dies in a horrific fall, Eva takes his place in The Testing. She will be the first "Maiden" in more than 150 years to attempt to become one of their society's leaders. The grueling test takes place in the icy, dangerous wilderness surrounding their fortified city, and each year there are Testers who do not survive to return with the required Relics of the world's past. Eva longs to find a truly amazing specimen, one that depicts the false god, Apple, to bring back to her people to help illuminate the wicked ways that brought the Healing's mighty waters to wash away the immorality of the world before theirs. What Eva finds, though, is not just nature's dangers but also deliberate secrets being kept from her people. Terrell's post-apocalyptic dystopia opens a new series that is both an exciting tale of self-discovery and one of great societal commentary. In Eva's world, the polar ice caps melted and modern civilization was destroyed. Survivors turned to a simpler lifestyle, one more easily controlled by those in power. Readers slowly piece New North's history together as Eva uncovers startling revelations about her own background. Deft world-building creates a believable society in an icy clime with a strong and well-rounded main character. Eva's choices for the future will leave readers anxious to see her tale continue in the next installment. Libraries looking to offer a fresh new perspective in the dystopian field should consider this title. Reviewer: Jessica Miller
Standard-issue dystopia set in a post–global-warming future: plucky heroine, lying leaders, ridiculous endurance tests and, yes, two hot guys. Eva is a Maiden of New North, the last remaining civilization after oceans rose and the world flooded. The Lex, or law, of her world is filled with references to the evil of the "false god Apple" and strict hierarchical and gendered rules for living. After her twin brother's death, Eva takes his place as a Testor seeking Relics from the pre-Healing time. If she can find a worthy Relic and craft a suitably moral cautionary tale (but not a Lex-prohibited "fiction"), she can succeed her father as Chief Archon. The plethora of details include Inuit and Latin terms and slightly entertaining but preachy uses of real-world items (Prozac, MasterCards) listed as evils of the past, all of which set this slightly apart from similar books but might overwhelm readers. Moreover, the plot lacks plausibility, some of which is revealed to be intentional but much of which seems designed to propel action. Flat first-person narration and weak characterization detract from the good bits, and in the end, it's really all setup for the next volume anyway. While not egregiously terrible, this is yet another also-ran in the hordes of books vying to be the next Hunger Games or Divergent. (map, illustrations) (Science fiction. 12 & up)
Gr 7 Up—Fans of The Hunger Games will devour this book. The world suffered a cataclysmic flood a century earlier that the survivors believe occurred as punishment by their gods for the evils of that civilization. Now living in the Arctic North, bound by ice and water on all sides, the rulers of the Aerie are rigid and demanding to ensure that they not repeat the evil of their ancestors and bring about another flood. After the death of her twin brother, Eamon, 18-year-old Eva, the daughter of an Aerie ruler, decides to take his place in The Testing, which involves traveling by dogsled over snow and ice to an area where artifacts from the past corrupt civilization must be excavated from a crevasse in the ice. Proper and popular Jasper of the ruling class and outsider Lukas of the Boundary People, servants to the ruling class, are both vying for Eva's attention. Until her twin's death, Eva was a dutiful daughter to her status-conscious parents and not averse to their plans of marrying her to Jasper. Lukas, who had been training Eamon, now works with Eva to prepare her for The Testing. On the eve of the event, he gives her Eamon's journal, which makes her realize that her brother was about to embark on a mission that would change her world forever, but the journal isn't clear about how. The relic that Eva finds during The Testing, and her interpretation of its meaning, alters her worldview and will ultimately lead her to challenge all she believes and holds dear. Although Relic's story line is familiar, Terrell has created an interesting setting and memorable characters. Teens will be looking forward to the next installment in the series.—Kathy Kirchoefer, Henderson County Public Library, NC