It has been a mere five generations since the Second Revolutionary War threatened to destroy this nation, since vanishings ceased to be devastating realities and became colloquial slang. It is too easy to forget that Zavier and Evangelina Scot did not set out to start a war; the War followed in their wake. The greatest way to honor their sacrifice is to never force others to make it again.
I love good dystopian lit, and this book definitely qualifies. Set in 2159, it follows Zay and Lina Scot, as their home is burned down and their parents die in the fire that consumes Block Island - or so the public thinks. Zay and Lina must figure out what is going on, as well as adapt to the new world they're living in, and they might find out some awful truths in the process.
It's 2159. Zay Scot is a fourteen-year-old boy raised on a secret island in hiding from a government he doesn't know exists. After more than a decade of avoiding detection, his fugitive parents are brutally kidnapped and he is thrust into a dizzying world centuries more advanced than the one he left behind.
The skies over the United North American Alliance are pollution-free. Meals are healthy and delivered to each home. Crime is nonexistent. Medical treatment requires only the scan of your wrist. Poverty, need, and hunger are things studied in history class.
But Zay soon finds himself a fugitive, escaping the brute force of a government always a whisper away. Now he must choose between peace and freedom, and if the journey doesn't kill him, what he finds might start a war.
At first, this new world sounds interesting and intriguing. There's always enough food for everyone, if you're hurt or sick you can be fixed with the touch of a button (reminded me of the movie Elysium in that respect) ... and, also, the government also monitors where you are at all time using this same technology. Zay refuses to get a scanner once he and his sister Lina arrive on the "mainland" because of this, and his other orphan friends have to sometimes scan for him so he can have meals.
This is definitely not a "happily ever after" book - indeed, I was a bit shocked by the ending, although it seems to be "for the greater good" - but the journey that they take throughout it was interesting. It did have some Hunger Games elements in it, but overall it was a great, original dystopian story. At the beginning of the book, the Scots live on Block Island, free from government influence, which I think meant the Rhode Island location - that was intriguing to me because I have relatives who live in R.I., so I've heard of Block Island before.
My only criticism is that I would have liked a little more back story, even though the author did flesh out the history of the government and of Cherry Hill nicely.
4.5 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this novel from the author for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.
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