Post-apocalyptic religious exploitation in Micronesia forms the theme of this dystopia.
Maryam has waited almost all her life for her Bloods to come, so she can fulfill her destiny in the Holy City. Ever since the Tribulation that churned the sea and destroyed the power sources, the people of her Pacific island—roughly based on the nation of Kiribati, according to the author’s note—have followed the guidance of the white-skinned Apostles of the Lamb. As a tiny child, Maryam was taken from her birthparents when a blood test showed she was one of the Lord's Chosen. The religious experience she's been dreaming of, however, is more like a nightmare. The white-robed and white-skinned Apostles enslave the "native" servers, keeping them hungry and sexually exploited, drunk and pregnant, and constantly in superstitious terror. Maryam learns to trust nobody (except, perhaps, for the requisite sympathetic, handsome boy). Maryam's perspective isn't as tightly drawn as it could be, with viewpoints that seem to come more from an Apostle or even a contemporary reader, rather than an islander raised among other islanders. Nonetheless, her struggle to recognize and fight exploitation that's been reinforced by religious faith is compelling. Perhaps one day Maryam will cast off her Chosen name and reclaim the name of her birth, the name given to her by her own people.
This trilogy opener will be just the thing for those readers still hungry for dystopias. (Dystopian romance. 13-16)