Published in 2013
Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans. In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival.
In light of the hurricanes to hit the Gulf Coast in the last several years, this book tells a possible, if hard to imagine story. Set several years, and storms in the future, Orleans is a scary possibility, as well as a story that provides hope.
Fen is the anti-heroine. She doesn't begin as particularly likable, she's not a stunning beauty or paragon of virtue, like you tend to meet in adventure stories. And this is an adventure story, wrapped in a (I hope) dystopian future.
Daniel is also a hero, though an incredibly reluctant one and not the kind he thought he was going to be. He's the nerd, who has believed every single line fed to him by the government that abandoned the Gulf Coast after massive storms and a plague.
I loved so many things about this book. Smith created simply amazing characters. I could see and hear them on every page. Rich, deep, and familiar, yet completely unlike others I've known.
Having walked the streets of New Orleans since it was rebuilt post-Katrina, I read and re-read the descriptions of the city, now a near wasteland. It fed that curiosity in me that has always wondered, what would survive?
The story itself captures you. Fen's fierce determination to do right by her friend's baby is palpable, and feeds her story. Daniel's on a quest to save, though he doesn't realize salvation doesn't look quite the way he imagines.
This is what becomes of civilized humanity when it simply wants to survive.
What do you think??
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Putnam Juvenile through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.