A quick, exciting read that will appeal to fans of post-apocalyptic tales.


In this dystopian New Adult thriller, a woman bred to donate her body parts must flee her oppressive society before they can take her heart.

Seventeen-year-old “donor” Joan Lion has spent her entire life keeping in top athletic shape—not for her own career but for another’s. She periodically supplies parts of her superior muscles and organs to superstar athlete and Governor’s daughter Tegan Gates, one of the Alliance’s most privileged citizens. Joan peacefully trains and provides this “tax” in the hope that she’ll eventually earn enough money to purchase her own citizenship and leave her donor status behind. However, when she learns that the Governor wants to take her strong heart and lungs to further enhance his daughter’s physical capabilities, she flees for her life. She’s chased by Tax Enforcement Officer Nox, a single-minded, rule-abiding man who was responsible for Joan’s mother’s arrest and execution eight months earlier. Joan finds help in surprising places and must decide whether to actively take part in the rebellion brewing against the Alliance. If the dark cloning-for-organs plotline of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (2005) mated with an action-packed young-adult thriller such as Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games (2008), the result would resemble Beatty’s debut. Joan, in particular, bears a remarkable resemblance to Katniss Everdeen, from her athletic talents to her involuntary rise as poster child of a rebellion to her involvement in a love triangle that forces her to choose between a childhood friend and a new romantic interest. Joan comes across as frustratingly stubborn and blind to the truth at times, but these faults make her less superhuman and more relatable. Although some plot twists may be a bit too obvious, Joan’s story will still keep readers hooked to the very end.

A quick, exciting read that will appeal to fans of post-apocalyptic tales.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1484933176

Page Count: 274

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 11, 2013

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An unrelentingly dark and disquieting look at the way societies conform to committing atrocities.


A processing plant manager struggles with the grim realities of a society where cannibalism is the new normal.

Marcos Tejo is the boss’s son. Once, that meant taking over his father’s meat plant when the older man began to suffer from dementia and require nursing home care. But ever since the Transition, when animals became infected with a virus fatal to humans and had to be destroyed, society has been clamoring for a new source of meat, laboring under the belief, reinforced by media and government messaging, that plant proteins would result in malnutrition and ill effects. Now, as is true across the country, Marcos’ slaughterhouse deals in “special meat”—human beings. Though Marcos understands the moral horror of his job supervising the workers who stun, kill, flay, and butcher other humans, he doesn’t feel much since the crib death of his infant son. “One can get used to almost anything,” he muses, “except for the death of a child.” One day, the head of a breeding center sends Marcos a gift: an adult female FGP, a “First Generation Pure,” born and bred in captivity. As Marcos lives with his product, he gradually begins to awaken to the trauma of his past and the nightmare of his present. This is Bazterrica’s first novel to appear in America, though she is widely published in her native Argentina, and it could have been inelegant, using shock value to get across ideas about the inherent brutality of factory farming and the cruelty of governments and societies willing to sacrifice their citizenry for power and money. It is a testament to Bazterrica’s skill that such a bleak book can also be a page-turner.

An unrelentingly dark and disquieting look at the way societies conform to committing atrocities.

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982150-92-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2020

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Twisty, thrilling, and beautifully written.


Things aren't what they seem in the supposedly idyllic state of Prospera.

Cronin’s latest takes place in Prospera, an archipelago state that “exists in splendid isolation, hidden from the world.” The main island is designed to be something of a paradise, “free of all want and distraction,” where residents are urged to pursue art and personal betterment. The Annex, another island, is “home to the support staff—men and women of lesser biological and social endowments.” Proctor Bennett lives on the main island and works as a “ferryman”—when his fellow residents become older or infirm, he escorts them to a boat that will carry them to the “Nursery Isle,” where they are reborn as teenagers who will then rejoin Prospera. One day, Proctor learns that the next person he’s in charge of ferrying is his father, and it turns out the old man doesn’t go quietly—on the way to the pier, he begins muttering seemingly incomprehensible phrases, telling his son, “The world is not the world,” and “You’re not...you.” Then things get even more complicated: Proctor meets art dealer Thea, who’s tight with a group of dissatisfied Annex residents, and then he gets fired from his job, which leads him to believe Prospera might not be everything he’s thought it was. He’s also trying to navigate his increasingly rocky marriage to Elise, a fashion designer whose mother, Callista, is the chair of the Board of Overseers for All Prospera—“the boss of everything.” The twists in this novel are plentiful and authentically surprising, and although there are tons of moving parts, Cronin does a wonderful job handling them. This is a dystopian novel that doubles as a detective story, and Proctor is an appealing protagonist, semi-hard-boiled but never descending into cliché. Cronin’s prose is solid, and he handles the dialogue, sometimes leavened with humor, expertly. It’s a hefty book that moves with an astounding quickness—yet another excellent offering from an author with a boundless imagination and talent to spare.

Twisty, thrilling, and beautifully written.

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9780525619475

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: April 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2023

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