An outcast must save the boy she loves from a dangerous labyrinth.
In a future world ravaged by drought and plague, the desert city of Trinnea is protected from the wastelands (and its inhabitants) by a wall and a treacherous labyrinth. Its most valued citizens have skills such as telekinesis, levitation, and invisibility. Seventeen-year-old Zadie Kalvers’ dark hair and tan skin set her apart from her blonde, pale half sister, Chantry, as does her status as a Blank. Unlike Chantry, Zadie grew up in indentured servitude, and her lack of skills and the brands on her palms label her as an outcast. When Zadie’s best friend (and love interest), the uber-skilled, blond-haired “Limitless” Landon Everhart, disappears after a tussle with labyrinth dweller Dex, aka the Devil of Trinnea, the town is taken over by vicious outsiders and falls under a strange spell—and it’s as if Landon never existed. To save him, Zadie asks Dex to guide her through the maze to ask Trinnea’s immortal Great Leader for help. Even before Zadie’s pitfall-studded journey, readers will likely predict that the olive-skinned Dex isn’t quite a devil and that Zadie’s world will inevitably be turned upside down. Darker shades of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland creep in, but few clues are offered about the world beyond Trinnea until the heavily revelatory finale. Overall, this type of thing has been done better. A cliffhanger ending leaves room for a sequel.
Predictable. (Dystopian. 14-adult)