Time Zero

Carolyn Cohagan. She Writes (IPS, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (426p) ISBN 978-1-63152-072-3
Set on a walled-off, near-future Manhattan, this powerfully realized dystopian tale introduces Mina Clark, a strong-willed 15-year-old who struggles bitterly against the misogynistic, Taliban-like religious culture that she has grown up with. Plagued by a social climber of a mother, Mina is forced into an engagement with Damon Archer, the degenerate son of her father’s boss, only to discover that their religion’s strict prohibitions against alcohol, material wealth, and extramarital sexual alliances don’t apply to the powerful. Outraged, Mina fights back when Damon molests her, then attempts to escape from Manhattan with Juda, Damon’s good-hearted servant. Cohagan (The Lost Children) opens her story with a quote from Malala Yousafzai, (“All I want is an education, and I am afraid of no one”), and the Pakistani teen turned activist may well have been a model for Mina, who has illegally been taught to read by her eccentric grandmother and dares to protest the public stoning of an innocent woman. Featuring strong characters and crisp writing, this is a solid first entry in a series worth keeping an eye on. Ages 12–up. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/07/2016
Release date: 05/01/2016
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 426 pages - 978-1-63152-073-0
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