Alive

Scott Sigler. Random/Del Rey, $18 (368p) ISBN 978-0-553-39310-1
Sigler opens his Generations trilogy with a wallop: Em wakes up trapped in a coffin and must break out from the inside. Once free, she discovers others like her, all believing they are 12 years old, despite bodies that suggest otherwise and strange circular markings on their foreheads. Elected as leader of the confused and amnesic group, Em tries to keep the peace in the face of hallways that lead nowhere, flesh-eating pigs, corpses by the dozen, and charred, red-eyed monsters. As the group disintegrates into warring factions, Sigler (the Infected trilogy) shifts gears into science fiction, a jarring move that leaves many unanswered questions, such as why only certain individuals have the power to open rooms, in addition to confusing glimpses of the crisis that led to the teens' entombment. Grotesque scenes abound, as does the author's tendency to recapitulate plot points through Em's interior thoughts. Still, the burgeoning love triangle between single-circle Em, half-dark circle O'Malley, and circle-star Bishop offers intrigue, as does Em's tortured consciousness over her "savage" self. Ages 14–up. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/13/2015
Release date: 07/01/2015
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-553-39312-5
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