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A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil. The lush city of Palmares Tres shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that's sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June's best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist. Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Tres will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government's strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die. Pulsing with the beat of futuristic Brazil, burning with the passions of its characters, and overflowing with ideas, this fiery novel will leave you eager for more from Alaya Dawn Johnson.
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About the Author

Alaya Dawn Johnson s first novel for young adults, THE SUMMER PRINCE, received three starred reviews, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a Kirkus Best Book of the Year. She grew up in Washington, D.C., attended Columbia University, and now lives in New York City."

Reviews

In her YA debut, Johnson (the Spirit Binders series) depicts a future that's recognizably Brazilian and humanWith its complicated history, founding myth, and political structure, Palmares Tres is compelling, as is the triple bond between June, Enki, and Gil as they challenge their world's injustices. -- Publishers Weekly, starred review As the trio dances-often literally-around one another, June must negotiate between the extremes of stasis and post-humanism, learn to see beyond herself, discover the meaning of integrity, and maybe even save her rotten-at-the-core and best-beloved city. Luminous. -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review In this YA debut, Johnson paints a brilliant picture of a seemingly lush paradise hiding a core rotted by class stratification, creative stagnation, and disenfranchisement. Evocative, disturbing, and exhilarating, this story leaves much for the reader to ponder, from the nuanced characters to fascinating central themes, including the impact of technology and the role of isolationism in a perilous world. Like leaping into cold water on a hot day, this original dystopian novel takes the breath away, refreshes, challenges, and leaves the reader shivering but yearning for another plunge. -- Booklist, starred review In precise prose Johnson evokes an utterly foreign setting, complete with technologies that push at the limits of what it means to be human, and the relationships that delineate the social landscape are intriguingly unconventional and startling in their intensity. The story itself is thematically rich, encompassing the political nature of art in a time of vast upheaval, the potential of power to corrupt, the tension between tradition and innovation, and the toils and rewards of underground creative expression. An imaginative and thoroughly realized addition to the sci-fi genre. -- Horn Book "There's a great, fresh audacity to Johnson's YA debut." -- Entertainment Weekly Rife with political turmoil and seeped in culture, this unique and highly fantastical dystopian romance is both intriguing and imaginative. Johnson excels at building rich and gorgeously complex worlds, and her prose shines with a sophistication that's uncommon in YA literature. This beautifully written novel will likely find a home with fans of Alison Croggon and Rachel Hartman. -- School Library Journal" After a nuclear winter, survivors in Brazil build the towering pyramid city of Palmares Tres, where every five years an elected king chooses a Queen and is then sacrificed. Privileged, rebellious young artist June Costas is mesmerized by this year's election, and she fiercely favors Enki, a beautiful boy from the bottom tier, the world of the algae vats and the perpetual stink. After his election, June and her best friend are drawn into Enki's world. With only a year to live, he is a brilliant and fast-burning star whose light opens June's eyes not to the serious issues--and corruption-- affecting her city, and with her art, she helps to release a surge of discontent. In this YA debut, Johnson paints a brilliant picture of a seemingly lush paradise hiding a core rotted by class stratification, creative stagnation, and disenfranchisement. Evocative, disturbing, and exhilarating, this story leaves much for the reader to ponder, from the nuanced characters to fascinating central themes, including the impact of technology and the role of isolationism in a perilous world. Like leaping into cold water on a hot day, this original dystopian novel takes the breath away, refreshes, challenges, and leaves the reader shivering but yearning for another plunge.-- Lynn Rutan, "Booklist "starred review "Eighteen-year-old artist June Costa is a citizen of Palmares Tres, a vertically structured city in what was once Brazil, with the rich at the top, the poor at the bottom, and a vital tradition of music and dance. Its centenarian queen keeps a tight rein on the tech--electronic and pharmaceutical--that allows for intensive state security and bodily modification. Privileged but rebellious June and her best friend Gil live on Tier Eight, and when they get involved with Enki, a beautiful bottom-tier resident who will serve a year as the summer king before his ritual sacrifice, her political art gains attention, and things get dangerous. In her YA debut, Johnson (the Spiri "Eighteen-year-old artist June Costa is a citizen of Palmares Tres, a vertically structured city in what was once Brazil, with the rich at the top, the poor at the bottom, and a vital tradition of music and dance. Its centenarian queen keeps a tight rein on the tech--electronic and pharmaceutical--that allows for intensive state security and bodily modification. Privileged but rebellious June and her best friend Gil live on Tier Eight, and when they get involved with Enki, a beautiful bottom-tier resident who will serve a year as the summer king before his ritual sacrifice, her political art gains attention, and things get dangerous. In her YA debut, Johnson (the Spirit Binders series) depicts a future that's recognizably Brazilian and human--June may have nanohooks, holo screens, and light implants, but 400 years on, teens still resent their parents and find ways to subvert the technology their elders theoretically control. With its complicated history, founding myth, and political structure, Palmares Tres is compelling, as is the triple bond between June, Enki, and Gil as they challenge their world's injustices. " - "Publishers Weekly "starred review An art project, a rebellion and a sacrifice make up this nuanced, original cyberpunk adventure."June, 17, remembers the last sacrifice of the Summer King, nine years before. In a future Brazil, after climate change, wars, natural disasters and plague have devastated the world, Palmares Tres is a peaceful and just city, technologically supported with holos, nanohooks and bots. Beneath the city's glittering facade, however, there's another reality. Youth is stifled while the governing Aunties keep Palmares Tres static in a class-stratified society centuries behind the rest of the developed world. June and best friend Gil, both relatively privileged artists, happily spend their spring dancing, creating public art and voting for the newest Summer King to be sacrificed for the city's prosperity after a year. W

Gr 9 Up-Four hundred years earlier, the Y Plague nearly decimated the world's male population. Upon the ruins of Brazil, Queen Odete constructed the pyramid city of Palmares Tres. Here artist June Costa, 16, dreams of greatness, but instead finds herself tangled in an unusual and tragic love triangle involving her friend Gil and Enki, the rebellious Summer King who must die at year's end so the city and its complex matrilineal political system can continue to thrive. While Enki chooses Gil as his lover, he is impressed with June's daring, and they collaborate to create groundbreakingly memorable artwork. But as Enki's inevitable sacrifice draws near, the two flee Palmares Tres, a move that will shake the very foundation of their city's future. Rife with political turmoil and seeped in culture, this unique and highly fantastical dystopian romance is both intriguing and imaginative. Johnson excels at building rich and gorgeously complex worlds, and her prose shines with a sophistication that's uncommon in YA literature. This beautifully written novel will likely find a home with fans of Alison Croggon and Rachel Hartman.-Alissa J. Bach, Oxford Public Library, MI (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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