Not a particularly stunning addition to the dystopian repertoire, but an interesting adventure all the same.
This is a look into insanity, psychological abuse, and the devastating effects of isolation on humans. Through some mutant defect that is understood to be fall-out from environmental destruction and war, Juliette can kill just by touching people. So she has been shunned her whole life and has been in incarcerated alone for 264 days at the beginning of this story.
Her world is male-dominated and riddled with violence. Military gangs rule. Juliette is imprisoned at the base of one such gang which is led and populated by mostly teen boys. (Which makes you wonder, what happened to all the old people with power?)
They finally take her from her cell with the intent of using her powers to maintain control within ranks and gain information without.
A boy from her past is set to guard her. And she finds out that he has made it his mission to save her.
From there adventure ensues. Running from the bad guys with guns. Protecting family. Eventually, making their way to a nest of revolutionaries all who seem to be mutants with variously useful powers. Juliette finds love and a family.
As you might notice from the snarky tone, I wasn't overly thrilled with this book. Yes, it's a good adventure. Yes, it's an interesting look at our world — if suddenly genetic mutation can cause extreme wizardry and young boys are left both fatherless and in the possession of automatic weaponry. Yes, for the first part of the book it is a VERY interesting look at the world we create in our heads in the absence of others. It illustrates perfectly that we are pack animals and fall apart utterly when isolated. Which seriously calls into question the rehabilitating nature of incarceration — particularly solitary confinement. Kinder almost to execute than have a prison full of tortured insanity.
No, the main problem with this book is. . . OK honey, you can kill with a touch. Why do you need rescuing! Maybe you need rescuing from yourself at first. Maybe you are convinced that you belong behind thick walls. But once they drag you out of that cell and make their intentions to use you clear, you could have easily escaped on your own. And since death isn't instant upon contact, you may have been able to get out without actually killing anyone. Yet you act like you're helpless to act against these manifestly evil people who have caged you. Get a clue!
Still, the next installment — where I assume the revolution will get cranking — ought to be a thrilling read!
One aside to marketing: HOW does this book cover relate even remotely to its content! Have you people gone completely mad!