Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Stung by Bethany Wiggins

Fiona has awoken to a strange and broken world - her bed is not the freshly made bed with clean sheets that she remembers, and the world outside her window is broken and lifeless.  Confused and disorientated by what she has found, Fiona is easy prey for the monsters that stalk the streets - monsters that bear a tattoo like the mark on the back of her right hand.  Fiona went to sleep as a normal girl, but she has woken to a world where children and teenagers with the tattoo turn into vicious monsters with a thirst for death and destruction, and everyone thinks she is going to Turn into the worst of the worst.  But there is some hope, she can still talk and function, and she finds a surprising ally in the world outside the Wall.  If Fiona can survive outside the Wall long enough to find the truth she will find that it will set her free - but first she has to live long enough to find it.

Stung is a fascinating glimpse into what our future could be like, a future where messing with nature creates a barren world where something that was meant to help is instead the destruction of most of humanity.  Too often one of the first responses to a problem is how can we use science to fix something, but that is not always the best thing to do - I always remember the (possibly slightly misquoted) line from Jurassic Park where Dr. Malcolm says "we were so busy wondering if we could, that we didn't stop to think if we should".  Fiona's world is one of sharp contrasts and sharp divides - there is the world inside the Wall, and the world outside the Wall, there are the Fecs, and there are the people.  

Fiona is interesting as a character because you don't know too much about her at first, and the discoveries you make about her come from the memories that are fresh in her mind and the memories that she recovers throughout the story.  The rest of the ensemble cast that fills out the novel is a mix of interesting stereotypes and unexpected surprises - there are some cliches, but that is always going to happen.  Wiggins has obviously spent a lot of time developing her mythology of why things are the way they are, and she has created characters that think, feel, and react the way you expect them to.  I really enjoyed my time with Fiona and her world and didn't want to put the book down - especially for the last few chapters.  An excellent thriller/adventure read with a smidge of science fiction, a pinch of romance, and a healthy dose of conspiracy.

If you like this book then try:
  • Reboot by Amy Tintera
  • Enclave by Ann Aguire
  • The forest of hands and teeth by Carrie Ryan
  • In the after by Demitria Lunetta
  • Breathe by Sarah Crossan
  • Altered by Jennifer Rush
  • The hunt by Andrew Fukuda
  • The darkest minds by Alexandra Bracken
  • Thyla by Kate Gordon
  • Proxy by Alex London
  • Crave by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz
  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • XVI by Julia Karr

Reviewed by Brilla

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