Falls’ (Rip Tide, 2011, etc.) first novel for teens is the nail-biting start of a new trilogy.
Nineteen years ago, the deadly Ferae Naturae (“of a wild nature”) virus killed 40 percent of America’s population. Now, 16 year-old Lane McEvoy lives a safe, sterile life in the shadow of the Titan, a 700-foot-tall wall that extends from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, separating the uninfected west from the Feral Zone to the east. Lane’s life is turned upside down when the head of Biohazard Defense makes her an offer she can’t afford to refuse. Director Spurling has evidence that Lane’s father, Mack, is a “fetch,” paid to retrieve valuables left behind during the exodus two decades before. Unless Lane locates her father so he can recover something the director has lost, Spurling will expose Mack’s treason, and Lane will lose him to execution by firing squad. As she ventures into the Feral Zone, Lane picks up two unlikely allies: the enigmatic feral-hunter Rafe and the militant, by-the-book guard Everson. Readers will find themselves drawn into Lane’s story through the author’s consistent worldbuilding and striking turns of phrase. Lane is an appealing and credible protagonist; her progression from obsessive cleanliness to fearless engagement with the infected is subtle and believable.
Sure to satisfy fans of the dystopian-romance genre and to gather new ones along the way. (Dystopian adventure. 12 & up)