Lyga (Blood of My Blood, 2014, etc.) is joined by actor Facinelli and film producer DeFranco for this post-apocalyptic novel.
In the distant, environmentally devastated future, orphan Deedra’s a factory worker and sometime scavenger. During a scrounging trip, she encounters the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen; incredibly, Rose lacks the scars and callouses that mark everybody else. After their brief, mysterious encounter, she can’t get him off of her mind. Lucky for her, he feels the same, reappearing just in time to rescue her from a highly placed would-be rapist, magistrate’s son and factory overseer Jaron. As Deedra learns about Rose’s mysterious abilities, she eventually discovers his true nature—it’s an implausible abuse of science, but at least it’s original. When Jaron is mysteriously and brutally murdered, suspicion turns to outsider Rose, and even Deedra has doubts about his innocence. Jaron’s murder sends his father—an all-powerful, cartoonishly evil dictator—on a witch hunt against Rose and toward war. Interesting themes—the elimination of history as social control and philosophy of utilitarianism vs. individual rights—are clumsily overstated and lack subtlety. The worldbuilding, even in the context of the cultural blank slate, is too weak to sustain the story. The prose alternates between choppy and frustratingly repetitive. The ending promises a sequel.
Give these cardboard characters and their ludicrous plot a miss. (Post-apocalyptic romance. 14 & up)