It's funny how the sun is so far away, but it's one of the most vital and influential things for all of us. Without it, of course, we wouldn't exist at all. Spend too much time out of it, and our vitamin D levels drop, our immune systems weaken, and we suffer depression. It can burn us, but it also helps us grow our food. We need the sun. You need the sun. I need the sun. But for Jax, the main character from Gayle C. Krause's post-eco-apocalyptic YA dystopian novel, the sun is an enemy. The sun is too hot, the ozone layer too thin, and even minutes outside during the day will mean third degree burns, and longer spells certain death.
With echoes of the pied piper and the story of Saint Patrick, the fraternal responsibility of The Hunger Games, and an underclass that puts me in mind of Invitation to the Game, Krause's novel draws the reader in with quick prose and fills her world with every unpleasant detail of the awful world she's created. RATGIRL: Song of the Viper has both momentum and staying power. I found myself reading a few chapters, (I admit it, I do most of my reading on the elliptical these days) then quietly analyzing and speculating through the rest of the day- wondering where they got their water while doing dishes, contemplating the implications of a world without books, wondering at the maturity of a child my son's age if raised in such a horrid environment, staring horrified at someone who tosses a metal can into te waste basket. I like it when a book stays with me and gives me things to think about when I'm not nose deep in the e-ink.
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