Viral Nation

Shaunta Grimes. Berkley, $9.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-26513-0
Grimes's debut, first in a planned series, meshes time travel and the viral apocalypse subset of the dystopia novel. By the time a cure is found for the virus that has ravaged the U.S., the population is so depleted that all citizens move to one city in each state. In Reno, siblings West and Clover live together, taking their daily doses of preventative medicine while their father is off working for the government's execution squads. Sixteen-year-old Clover is excited to have been accepted to the prestigious local Academy, but let down when her spot is revoked due to her autism. Instead, she's directed to work for the Company, where she will train to become a Time Mariner, traveling into the future to learn of as-yet-uncommitted crimes, which are then punished proactively. This leads Clover to discover a threat to her family, pulling her into a cross-time conspiracy. Grimes occasionally slips into familiar predestination clichés of time travel books, but the overall concept and sensitively defined character of Clover carry the book through. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kim Lionetti, BookEnds. (July)
Reviewed on: 08/05/2013
Release date: 07/01/2013
Genre: Children's
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