Friday, February 15, 2013
The World Ends Times Three!
The end of the world can come in so many ways you will make yourself crazy trying to think about all of them! So when you get three different stories who share nothing in common but the end of the world, it might you into a paranoia tailspin where you end up digging a bunker in your backyard! But with 'Til the World Ends by Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre, and Karen Duvall, you will welcome the end of the world... in the pages of the book anyway!
Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa
Red Lung has decimated the population. Kylie survived an earlier form of the virus, so she has taken that as a sign she was meant to help people. Even as young as she is, she is one of the last still working in a slipshod clinic trying to make people comfortable in their final days. But when a mysterious stranger arrives with a torn-up friend, she can't figure out what happened to them. Ben Archer won't tell her how his friend got hurt, but she knows there is more to the story than just an animal attack. What she doesn't expect is the new virus that turns humans into animals... or where the virus came from.
Thistle and Thorne by Ann Aguirre
The world is a chemical wasteland, but money still separates the haves and the have nots. Mari is trying to take care of her younger brother and sister, but gang overlords don't make that easy. When she is forced into a job for a gang leader, she quickly realizes the job wasn't as easy as she made it out to be. She almost doesn't make it out of the walled city, created to protect the uber-wealthy from having to deal with the starving peasants outside, but Thorne, a former member of the gang, saves her. When she learns the true nature of her mission, she and Thorne, the most unlikely of duos, combine to fight back.
Sun Storm by Karen Duvall
The sun's instability has created solar flares and sun sparks that can kill a person. The earth is scorched and dry, and water and food are a luxury. But something else has happened. For some people, the sun has changed them, made them into Kinetics. There are many different kinds of Kinetics, but they can all do something supernatural. Sarah has the ability to predict the deadly sun storms, and she takes the responsibility of such a gift very seriously. When she happens upon Ian, a Kinetic who can control the weather, she realizes their combined powers have the ability to amplify. But, as if the world weren't dangerous enough, a crazy former government agent is now rounding up Kinetics like a slave trader, and he is hunting Ian. But together, Sarah and Ian are more powerful than anyone could have predicted... or did they?
This was a fun trio of novellas that I really enjoyed. Kagawa's story is a prequel to The Immortal Rules, which was brilliant, by the way, and this prequel gave so much insight into the fall of humanity before that series started. I also really liked Duvall's novella, and I hope she runs with this and continues the story of the Kinetics. It was so fascinating, and the story can easily continue into a series! The one story that wasn't my favorite was Ann Aguirre's. This was surprising, because I have been following her Enclave series since it was first released. I am not fully sure why this was my least favorite story, but it might have been the characters. Mari and Thorne just didn't seem to have a connection, so it made it hard for me to imagine the huge sacrifices they were making. Still, it wasn't a bad story, just not my favorite out of this trio.
The last two stories are clean and good for a wide range of students, but the Kagawa story has a decently graphic sex scene in it. Honestly, I don't think it was anything too graphic, but some might object to giving it to a student who isn't old enough. Basically, if they have read Immortal Rules they shouldn't have a problem with the short story. Otherwise, this collection is a fun group of novellas that might be good for a kid who has trouble with full-length novels, but would like shorter stories to go with their attention span. I know they were perfect for me during a busy work week!