Whats New Category: Science Fiction
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
War and a plague have destroyed New York City. Many generations ago, people went underground in order to survive and escape the Freaks (flesh eating monsters). However, the Freaks have been growing down below and the people underground are in trouble. Deuce lives in one of the last safe enclaves. At the beginning of the novel, we meet Deuce as she gets her new name and is given her role as one of the huntresses in her enclave. Unfortunately, Deuce’s hunting partner turns out to be Fade, a guy who came from topside but who has proven to be valuable to the enclave as a hunter. Since he was not born in the enclave, not many people trust Fade. When Deuce first hunts with Fade she learns why. Fade doesn’t like to follow the rules.
Deuce, however, has trained and worked hard all her life to be a huntress and always follows the rules. As Deuce continues to hunt with Fade outside the enclave she soon learns how desperate their situation is. Freaks are everywhere and they are getting smarter. After Deuce and Fade disobey direct orders, they are sentenced to a mission to travel to the nearest enclave. When they arrive and find it decimated and overrun by Freaks, they return with warnings to their leaders. But they are ignored and Deuce begins to see the flaw in her enclave’s leadership. As Deuce begins to challenge authority, her home in the enclave is threatened. When she and Fade are both accused of hoarding (an illegal practice) they are banished to the topside.
Without giving away too much more, the plot of Enclave really starts to unfold as Deuce and Fade go topside. Their fight to survive in the post apocalyptic New York City is a hard one. They encounter Freaks, gangs of savages who call themselves wolves, the sun (which Deuce has never seen before), injury, and finding safe food and water. This is a survival story as much as it is an action and adventure read. Be sure to check out Enclave if you want a fast paced, exciting read!
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Marcus is an expert with a computer, and he has to be. In his school computers rule. They are not only for doing schoolwork, but technology is being used to keep track of and spy on the students. In Marcus’ near-future world, technology is slightly more advanced than it is today. In order to have some sort of freedom and control while being online, Marcus has figured out how to maintain his privacy online while staying under the radar, mostly through hacking.
This all changes one afternoon when Marcus and his friends skip class to join in a scavenger hunt as part of one of their favorite online games. San Francisco comes under attack from terrorists and Marcus and his friends finds themselves close to the attack. So close, in fact, the he and his friends are taken in by the Department of Homeland Security as possible threats. Even though they had nothing to do with the attacks on San Francisco, Marcus and his friends are interrogated for days in an unknown prison about their involvement. When they are finally set free, their lives are changed forever. Marcus is scarred by the interrogation and to make matters worse his best friend Darryl was never released.
Marcus takes to the net determined to fight against all the new restrictions, curfews, and increased DHS presence in San Francisco as a result of the terrorist attacks. Marcus feels that his story must be told and that people must fight back against Big Brother. However, by fighting back, he risks everything… even his life.
Little Brother is a great book for any reader. There is a lot of action in this book and a good mystery. Little Brother also makes you question if this could really be our future. It is really believable that this world could one day be ours, and if it is, we all need to be better informed about how to maintain our privacy online. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and also give you a lot to think about.
Deadly Pink by Vivian Vande Velde
Fourteen year old Grace has been asked to rescue her sister, but she wonders if she is up to the task. Grace is the second sister, the average sister who depends on Emily for help. Her older sister is the special one. She is in college, mega smart, super popular, and better looking than Grace. While Grace is an avid gamer, Emily works as an intern for the Rasmussem Corporation, the creators of the world’s best virtual reality games. These games are not the average virtual reality game, but total immersion games where the player becomes part of the gaming world. Once in the game, players can taste, smell, feel, and move just like the real world. While their bodies remain lying on a couch, hooked to a computer, and safe. Emily has hidden herself in one of the games she helped create and altered the codes so she cannot be pulled out. The problem is, there is a time limit to how long gamers can stay in virtual form before dangerously injuring their real bodies. Grace must enter the game, find her sister, and rescue her before time runs out and her sister faces not just a virtual death.
Reading this book feels like playing a game. Grace has to use her gaming knowledge (and sarcastic wit) to win coins, battle enemies, and save her sister. All this makes for a fast-paced and funny journey, with a little danger thrown in. Along the way, Grace learns that all is not as it seems and that nobody is as perfect as they appear. If you like gaming or have a sister, check this book out.
Other books by Vivian Vande Velde that include the Rasmussem Corporation:
Starters by Lissa Price
Callie lives in a world where a plague has left most middle aged people dead, but the young (the Starters) and the old (the Enders) have survived thanks to a vaccine. There is a side effect of using the vaccine, though: everyone’s life spans have been extended well into the hundreds. In this world only the rich young kids can live a normal life. The average teen has parents who are dead and are either sent to labor camps or forced to live on the streets. The senior citizens are the ruling class and the majority.
Callie is a street kid whose parents were killed by the plague. Callie also has a younger brother who she has to support. When Callie finds out about the body bank it seems like the answer to her prayers. All she has to do is let the body bank, also known as Prime Destinations, implant a chip in her head and give her an extreme makeover. Then she agrees to let a thrill-seeking senior citizen inhabit her body, via the chip, three different times and she will be paid handsomely. The first time Callie is occupied it is easy and she just feels like she went to sleep. Her second time goes just as smoothly. During her third occupation, however, Callie unexpectedly wakes up and is thrust into the middle of a life that she does not know how to live–that of a young, rich teen. To make matters worse the Ender who was occupying her is still in her head and warning her that she is in danger…
Starters is a really cool story! This is definitely not your typical dystopia. There are no average adults in this world–only senior citizens and young people! The way that the author, Lissa Price, describes the body bank and how seniors inhabit young people is so interesting. This book also reminded me of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, because Callie goes through a complete makeover with future technologies that we cannot even imagine. This novel is definitely action-packed, since Callie is not only trying to figure out why she is in danger but she also has to make sure that no one realizes that she is not being occupied while she is still pretending to be a young, rich teen. There is a great mystery in this story and at the end of the book you see the evil plan of some of the Enders unfold. Starters is definitely a great read for any age, guy or girl, and if you want a cool spin on a dystopian world.