Bonnie S. Calhoun

In post-apocalyptic America, Selah Chavez is crouched in long grass on a shore littered with the rusted metal remnants of a once-great city. It is the day before her eighteenth Born Remembrance, and she is hunting, though many people refuse to eat animal flesh, tainted by radiation during the Time of Sorrows. What Selah’s really after are Landers, mysterious people from a land across the big water who survive the delirium-inducing passage in small boats that occasionally crash against the shoreline. She knows she should leave the capture to the men, but Landers bring a good price from the Company and are especially prized if they keep the markings they arrive with.
Everything falls to pieces when the Lander Selah catches is stolen by her brothers–and Selah wakes up the next morning to find the Lander’s distinctive mark has suddenly appeared on her own flesh. Once the hunter, Selah is now one of the hunted, and she knows only one person who can help her–Bohdi Locke, the Lander her brothers hope to sell.

This is a book I actually put off writing a review for…and hopefully I can explain why in the following. What was so unusual about this book is that one moment I really, really liked it- and then another moment I’d find myself thinking, “What the heck did I just read?”

There were moments when I felt the book was really good, and then it would go downhill for a couple chapters and then pick back up again. I guess what confused me the most was that there were a lot of plot elements I wasn’t expecting- despite the whole weird-symbol-appearing thing, I just supposed that it would be a typical “what-if” real-world dystopian, but there were fantasy-type elements too. I ended up really liking some aspects of the fantasy bits, but other times it just didn’t work for me.

I also ended up liking a character who (of course) died. I have a really bad track record with liking doomed characters. It’s not even funny.

Maybe the reason that I’m at a loss is simply because there were moments and bits that I really liked, and then parts that turned me off. It was an odd mix of images and plot devices that almost reminded me of a fantasy or fairy tale, and then other times it was an action/survival story. There were two different main locations that the POV switched back and forth on, and in some ways they seemed like two totally different worlds that didn’t go in the same book.

However, when all is said and done, I am going to read the next book. I know- I can’t decide if I liked it, but I know I want to read more. So maybe that’s my subconscious telling me that I did, in fact, like it?

Rating: 7

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review


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