Backbreaking work from dusk to dawn is just a typical day for sixteen year old Trinity, but that is about to change.
Harvest is over which means that it’s time for the less than perfect teens to be removed from camp. Trinity is okay with that. It’s just another stage of a Producer’s life, but she fears her new home will be like her old one unless she can figure out a way to make friends.
She’s different than the other Producers and even though she’s hidden her fangs and claws her entire life, the others still sense her strangeness.
She concocts a plan to sneak into the forest and discover where the teenagers are taken every year. Once she figures that out she can return home. The other kids will be dying to learn the secret which means that they will have to talk to her and once they get to know her, they’ll like her.
Escaping into the forest is simple; she’s done it before, but never at night. That is different. So is the feeling that she is being followed.
When she stumbles across a new creature, a large fish-like river man, that is only the beginning of her adventures in the forest.
She is hunted, captured, and befriended but she still needs to discover the fate of her kind and return home before the week is up or her mother will be punished for her escape.
As you might rememer, I’ve already read and reviewed one book by this author ‘Rise of the River-Man’ which was a spin off to this story.
This book was considerably more YA-ey than the last which appealed to me a little bit less, but all said – it ticks all the boxes of things that I would want from a YA novel.
A young heroine who doesn’t fit in, develops her sense of self awareness while learning to kick ass and forming relationships of the non-romantic variety with the people she meets. I think this is particularly important in books where the main character is a young woman, it’s ok to be helped by the menfolk but being constantly validated and rescued by a love interest makes my face sad.
The relationships in this book were particularly interesting and quite complex. A young man in a wheelchair who lies about his isolation so his mum doesn’t worry about him, an older Tracker who hasn’t been able to have children of her own so adopts waifs and strays she finds in the forest to nurture, an amicable marriage between a gay man and a woman who is having a forbidden relationship with another man. These are things that should be accessible to young adults to read – there are lots of great perspectives in this book that I really enjoyed.
O’Dea’s particular gift in this book is her view on the class system. This is something I’ve always been interested in but I find a lot of dystopian novels make it a little too exaggerated or dry to really pique my interest but this book really did open my eyes – a lower class so low, that they’ve been bred into compliance (not a lack of intelligence, just a lack of curiosity) and kept as livestock that care for themselves.
It’s a horrifying concept that’s actually got under my skin and will stick with me….
I would recommend this book in general for any fans of dystopian YA novels, but particularly as a good read for the child 10+ in your life as a good way of broaching the topic of segregation and the class system.
**Thank you to the author for providing a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**