Fiona Tarsis wakes up to a world of nightmares in this fast-paced, fever-bright post-apocalyptic adventure.
Her brother’s a monster, her Denver suburb’s a wasteland, and she doesn’t even recognize herself or the 10-legged tattoo on her hand. Fiona has no memory of the last four years or how the world changed, but she quickly learns how dangerous life is outside the wall. After seeking assistance from Arrin—a Fec, or sewer-dweller, of indeterminate gender and murky motives—Fiona is captured by the militia and seems destined for a short and painful life in a laboratory. Or worse—like all vaccinated children, Fiona bears the mark, and she could turn into a ravening beast at any moment—but she is also a female in a barren and depopulated world. Fiona loses her innocence but not her hope as she dives into chase scenes, gun battles, gladiatorial fights and a tentative romance with her rescuer/captor Dreyden Bowen. Wiggins (Shifting 2011) muses on the dangers of science and medicine and deftly maps out the chain of events that has led to catastrophe, creating a violent world vastly different from ours but still recognizable. With a stirring conclusion and space for a sequel, it’s an altogether captivating story.
Readers will gladly be bitten by this bug. (Science fiction. 12 & up)