Lydia Kang. Dial, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3904-8
Kang’s medical bona fides are on display in this SF debut. In a near-dystopian future, states have consolidated, education is via online holo, and people live under the agriplane, an elevated platform where crops are grown. Zelia, 17, and her younger sister, Dyl, move from state to state with their father’s work, never getting attached to any one place. After being orphaned by a freak accident, Zelia and Dyl are thrown into a foster system that tears them apart when they are claimed by rival “safe houses” that either shelter or take advantage of “illegal” children who have been genetically altered. Zel must negotiate a relationship with her new family, including a four-armed boy and a girl who’s part plant, and rescue her sister from a nightmare world of drugs and sexual exploitation. With a lot of world-building to chew on in the first half, the story comes close to bogging down, but it quickens as Zelia comes into her own, using her scientific education and strengths she never knew she had. A sweet, edgy romance rounds out this smart, futuristic medical thriller. Ages 12–up. Agent: Eric Myers, the Spieler Agency. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 12/26/2013
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-14-242361-5
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