Publication date: January 2011
Source: ARC provided by publicist
Ruby has lived with her mother and the Congregants for two hundred years, stuck as slaves to Darwin West. Every day, they gather water with spoons to fill the tanks. Her mother encourages Ruby to wait on Otto to come and save them from West. But Ruby has begun to feel that she can't wait for him to come save them anymore. She is tired of the beatings and the hard, sometimes impossible work. But, when she meets a new overseer who seems different from the rest, she must make a crucial decision between what she wants and what is best for everyone else.
Things I Liked:
An intense and pretty unique story. It was not what I expected - for some reason I figured it for dystopian, but it felt more fantasy in our current day with just a touch of dystopian-ness. I liked Ruby and how she grew over the course of the book. I especially liked how she didn't take crap from any of the guys who were interested in her - even from the one she liked! Her love interest was also most definitely not perfect, which I appreciated. It made him more real. The plot had some surprises and it certainly horrified me in multiple places. It had a lot of food for thought about the things we accept in life and the things we can change. Plus, it's got some action too. And an ending that leaves you wondering. Could be a stand alone or part of a series.
Things I Didn't Like:
It was pretty slow for the first half of the book. Not much appeared to be taking place, but I think it was for background on Ruby, since we got to see how she thought then and how she changed. I admit that parts of it made me uncomfortable, from a religious point of view. Cults in general make people uncomfortable, I think. The ending, while it kind of made sense that it ended Ruby's part of that story, left me with a lot of questions about the history of the congregants. I'd be very interested in a prequel that explains her mother's relationships with Otto and Darwin West. Lots of unanswered questions...
I had a hard time coming up with anything, but Candor by Pam Bachorz is by the same author (though, fairly different)
I often thought of The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams because of the polygamous colony with severe restrictions (though that one was very much contemporary and more powerful)
BOOK CONTENT RATINGS:
some, not a lot
a bit of innuendo
a lot, some quite brutal
Overall rating: ***
I've seen mixed reactions on this one. Does that make you more likely to read it or less likely?
If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage