A young woman living in a supposedly safe society begins to realize that appearances can be deceptive.
In 2090, America One has been walled off from the rest of the world, run by an anonymous board for the past 60 years for the good of the citizens. Patricia “Patch” Collins is generally happy with her life and her career, one which allows more freedom and less monitoring than most. She believes that the Board has her best interests at heart and initially has little tolerance for traitors, believing that their harsh sentencing is appropriate despite the lingering trauma of witnessing a beloved teacher being hauled away, never to be seen again. An unfortunate run-in with a Board enforcer reveals that her family members may not always have been faithful citizens. Later, a surprise discovery during an unmonitored work trip with her best friend, Rexx, turns her life upside down. As she and Rexx embark on a perilous cross-country journey, they encounter additional horrors, meet like-minded citizens, and develop feelings for one another. Rexx is of Mexican descent, but most characters follow a white default. Castle’s debut has many of the elements one hopes for in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world, and the characters are well-written and well-developed; however, the epilogue does little to resolve the story, leaving readers in the lurch.
A dark, thrilling tale that will keep readers on their toes, although the ending feels abrupt. (Dystopia. 13-18)