After six months on a Farm where teens are raised to feed the vampire-mutant Ticks, Lily has a plan to escape with her autistic twin sister, Mel.
Unbeknownst to Lily, her plan is doomed. Luckily, Carter, a boy she knew in the Before, shows up in the nick of time to tell her what to do instead. The story is narrated in three voices. Lily's voice gets the lion's share. Mel's voice—less the voice of a genuine autistic person and more florid riddle-talk—narrates a few short snippets. In Carter's chapters, which are, disconcertingly, written in third person, readers hear that Lily has the special thought-controlling powers of an abductura, though the nature of those powers and the dubious sources of Carter's information take a long time to be revealed. At every turn, Lily is punished for being self-reliant: Not only do readers learn her escape plot would have failed, but the actions she takes in self-defense, such as breaking one of Carter's tranquilizer darts after he has shot her with another, consistently backfire. A few tense action scenes and some by-the-book romantic tension aren't enough to outweigh the book's distasteful message: Do as you're told, girls, and leave the planning and fighting to the boys.
Nothing new here. (Science fiction. 12-16)