The Haven

Carol Lynch Williams, Author
Carol Lynch Williams. St. Martin’s Griffin, $18.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-69871-3
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-250-02253-0
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Haven Hospital & Halls exists in one of the more sadistic dystopias offered in the recent explosion of this niche—it’s an enclosed facility whose inmates, called Terminals, are kept drugged and indoctrinated, occasionally taken out for surgical mutilation, allegedly to stem the progression of the deadly disease infecting them. Shiloh, the narrator, has already lost a lung, and others have lost arms and legs. A brew called the Tonic keeps them quiescent and forgetful as they await their next operations. But Shiloh has an unusually strong memory, and one of “the males,” Gideon, has an unusually strong will. It takes half the book for these two to join forces, at which point the search for escape and answers begins. Therein lies the problem: the chemically lobotomized characters don’t know what is happening to them or why and lack the gumption to drive much discovery. Thus, while Williams (Waiting) painstakingly details their horrific days and hints of Shiloh’s awakening, the plot stagnates, and character development consists mostly of fear and confusion. Ages 13–up. Agent: Stephen Fraser, Jennifer de Chiara Literary Agency. (Mar.)
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