As much as I love dystopian fiction, I’m always surprised when a story like this provides me with something new. It’s easy to feel like there’s a limit to the potential societies we could create after an apocalypse, and I’m delighted to be reminded that there are much more creative minds than mine out there willing to write their ideas down.
Albin has woven her own unique story with breathtaking talent and grace. Reminiscent of The Giver and A Handmaid’s Tale, but different enough to stand on its own, readers will love Adelice and her journey to free herself from a society that appears to be perfect.
I particularly appreciate Albin’s ability to craft a story with mature themes that involves very little profanity, sex, or gore. When the reader does come upon those scenes, they have been treated with a light hand. We feel the impact without feeling violated.
I was slightly disappointed in the somewhat abrupt ending, but after consideration, I decided there really wasn’t much more to say. I am happy to let the characters go and wish them well. I’m not really saying goodbye–they will remain with me for some time.
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Farrar Straus and Giroux
Profanity/Language: 2 mild obscenities; 2 derogatory names; 1 scatological word; 2 anatomical names.
Violence/Gore: A character is taken from her home against her will, restrained, and drugged; a character threatens to knee another character in the crotch; blood and a body bag are briefly seen on the floor; a character hits another character; a character has her fingers badly cut by fine wires; a character is found dead in a bathtub having committed suicide with few details.
Sex/Nudity: Two characters briefly kiss multiple times; a character is alleged to have an active sex life with multiple partners; a character discusses feeling naked due to revealing clothing; a character dresses and acts provocatively; a character is believed to be interested in another character sexually; a character refers to being taught about “the birds and the bees”; a character is questioned about sexual experiences; two characters briefly caress each others’ faces, hair, backs, and necks; two women are briefly seen embracing romantically.
Mature Subject Matter:
Homosexual relationship with no details; war; death of family members.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Infrequent under-age drinking; an adult character drinks alcohol frequently.