cover image The Only Thing to Fear

The Only Thing to Fear

Caroline Tung Richmond. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-545-62988-1

Richmond makes an impressive debut with this alternate history, which sees a 16-year-old half-Japanese girl growing up in the Nazi-dominated Eastern half of the United States, decades after Germany won WWII through the use of genetically engineered superhumans. Zara St. James, constantly subjected to prejudice and discrimination, is hiding a secret: she, too, is an Anomaly, with the power to control wind. Though she wants to join the rebel Alliance, her uncle believes it too dangerous for her. Events spiral out of control when the Nazis crack down on potential rebels and sympathizers, forcing Zara to reveal her powers while teaming up with a surprising ally%E2%80%94the privileged son of a high-ranking German official. Readers will be able to detect shades of Katniss in this story of a brave and resourceful young woman who inadvertently becomes the poster child for rebellion. But Richmond twists history and throws in creative exploitation of superpowers to deliver a fast-paced adventure that incorporates romantic themes without being overly reliant on them. Ages 12%E2%80%93up. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Sept.)