Release Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Walker Childrens; 304 pages
There is no cure for being stung.
Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered—her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She’s right.
Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.
Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.
I read this book in less than a day. I was almost late for work because I got caught up in the story and lost track of what time it was. Then I was at work and also sneaking in a few chapters whenever I could. That just speaks numbers about a book, doesn't it? I loved this book and I cannot wait for more, seriously.
Not only is the story unique, I mean the extinction of honey bees while creating a clone of bees (which is the cause of the extinction of bees) which causes the 'bee flu' which has killed thousands upon thousands of people. They create this vaccine for the bee flu which is limited and is given in doses as much as ten. These kids are given tattoos that show how many vaccines they've given. Turns out, over long periods of time, there are deadly side effects to this vaccine. The patient will become violent and insane in which then call these 'kids' beasts. Level Ten's are the deadliest and strongest but they are super rare. Can you guess what level our main character Fiona is?
The story starts out with Fiona waking up in her bed and thinking she was thirteen years old, the last age she remembers being. Her house is a disaster, completely destroyed and it's utterly deserted. Confused and disoriented, she wanders about looking for any sign of her family but what she finds isn't something she wanted to see. Her twin brother, Jonah, as something other than human. He seems more like an animal than anything else, sniffing the carpet and growling like a dog would.
Things get kind of crazy and one of the coolest things about this book is we get to learn about this world and all the crazy factors in it along with our main character, as she's been - well we don't know what's happened to her to make her forget or not remember four years of her life. But that's what makes it exciting is we find out everything along with her and we get to experience this world for the first time just like her. She ends up in a militia camp, disguised as a boy and kept in cuffs with the guardian who turns out to be Fiona's old neighbor Bowen; but is it the older brother (Duncan) whom she used to watch make out with his girlfriend or the younger brother (Dreyden) who is the same age as her?
I am so in love with Bowen (and no, I'm not telling you which brother it is) and I swear, he's one of the sexiest guys in YA. One of the things that made him so sexy, in my opinion, is he wasn't shy about crying. Not only crying but the sobbing type of crying. Most guys would be embarrassed or what not but he owned it and man, it was kind of a hot. That's not the only reason. He's protective, caring, fierce, a fighter, smart and I could go on and on but I won't.
Fiona is strong, for being in the position she is in and comes out of this whole mess even stronger than what she went in to it as. She grows so much and honestly, I can't wait to see what's to come of her in the next book.
There are so many characters I loved in this book, beside our main ones, like Tommy who is Bowen's best friend, Lis (in the flashbacks, of course) who is Fiona's older sister, Dr. Grayson, whose a bit of a mystery until the end and Fiona's twin brother, Jonah, who makes appearances throughout the book (in current time and also in flashbacks). This book was filled with plenty of action, plenty of romance, of course betrayal...it's one of those books that once you start, you'll probably have a hard time putting it down.
Thank you to Bloomsbury and netgalley for allowing me the chance to read and review this book honestly.