Young-adult science fiction about a teenage warrior girl who escapes her dystopian society and goes on a mission to find herself.
Rose (Eternal Hope, 2012, etc.) doesn’t disappoint in her third YA outing. In a futuristic society known as the Sanctuary, 16-year-old Kit is a member of the Falin class. The Sanctuary fits each Falin with a permanent “halo,” a device that provides its host with a constant feed of emotion-blocking drugs. As a result, Falin feel no anger, sadness, joy, love, pity or shame—which is why Kit has become her nation’s most renowned arena fighter without feeling an ounce of guilt over killing so many other young people. But when her best friend, Asha, manages to disengage Kit’s halo, everything changes. No longer content to be a political pawn and gambling plaything, Kit escapes the Sanctuary and goes to Freetown, where she witnesses a very different kind of society. Meanwhile, she struggles to process her many new feelings; complicating matters, of course, is a male warrior who makes it his business to become Kit’s savior. This YA adventure has action-packed fight scenes, strong emotional connections, tragic losses and a healthy dose of sarcasm. Kit, as narrator, describes frighteningly violent fights in detail and later moves fluidly into personal, confusing romantic reflections. She struggles with familial losses and with achieving her larger goals in an uncertain world. Rose handles these scenarios with finesse and insight. As the residents of the Sanctuary and Freetown prepare for war, readers can only hope that there will soon be a sequel to tie up the remaining loose ends.
An imaginative, gripping YA tale of love and violence.