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The start of a fantastic and fast-paced new coming-of-age fantasy series
C.J. Redwine is a mother of four who lives in Tennesse. You can find her online at http://cjredwine.blogspot.com/
When 16-year-old Rachel's father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, she is made the ward of his 19-year-old apprentice, Logan, her unrequited first love. Rachel is certain her father is alive, but to leave the walled city-state of Baalboden and search for him she must agree to help Commander Chase, the violent despot who sent her father on his last journey. The commander desperately wants the package Rachel's father was carrying, and he's willing to exchange Logan's life for it. Rachel swears to bring back the item, free Logan, and make the commander regret he ever knew her, but a rival power is also seeking the parcel, and the commander has some tricks up his sleeve. Alternating between Rachel and Logan's perspectives, Redwine's debut is a jumble of technology, fantasy, and post-apocalyptic adventure. Her characters are interesting, but so capable and polished that they lose realism and sympathy. The story offers solid writing, ample action, and a sweet romance, but also implausible science and an unexpectedly messy climax that leads into the next book. Ages 13-up. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Literary Agency. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 7 Up-Fifty years ago, the Cursed Ones escaped their underground prison and nearly destroyed all life on Earth. Survivors cluster within the walls of Baalboden, living in constant fear of attacks and relying on the protection of cruel Commander Jason Chase. Unlike the other women, who are helpless and submissive, Rachel Adams is a survivor and a fighter. When her father goes missing while on a secret mission to retrieve a device that would enable its holder to control the Cursed Ones, the Commander recruits Rachel to find him-and, more importantly, the device-at any cost. If she fails, Logan, her true love and Protector, will be killed. Rachel has everything to lose. And she has a plan. But will it work? Redwine's YA debut is an admirable attempt at following in the footsteps of such genre benchmarks as Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games (Scholastic, 2008) and Scott Westerfeld's Uglies (S & S, 2005). Unfortunately, it doesn't quite measure up. Pacing is slow, and stock characters are predictable and two-dimensional. With so many dystopian novels on the market, this title is not one of the better options.-Alissa J. Bach, Oxford Public Library, MI (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.