Hey guys, this is my second post of July to make up for being MIA in June! So this book is described as Feminist Horror, but after reading this book yes, horror but without a doubt Science Fiction as well and you should read it! Before jumping into this review, I would like to thank the awesome squad over at PanMacmillan South Africa for sending me and advanced copy of this book!
Also Content Warning for this book, Selfharm, On Page Death and Suicide, Graphic detail of disease and death, Gore.
Without further a do, the goodreads synopsis:
It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.
This book has been hyped even before it was released, and for good reason! I have not ever read anything like it, some might compare it to Lord of the Flies or Maze Runner but don’t listen because this book is unique, even if it does has elements from popular Science Fiction and YA stories, every story has to start somewhere!
First I would like to comment on the writing, Rory Power has a talent for writing that is for damn well sure! I was mesmerised by her style, the way she describes the world, the atmosphere and characters was amazing! I have seen very few people comment on her writing and I don’t know why, because attention should be brought to the way Rory Power paints a picture with words! I could imagine it all playing across my mind in high definition detail, and I couldn’t get enough!
The characters were amazing, specifically our main three, Hetty, Byatt and Reese. I loved Hetty so much, by far my favourite character! Her determination and courage is admiring and very reflective throughout the story! The lengths she would go for those she loves is one of her most admirable traits, her voice is one that is going to take the YA community by storm! Step aside generic YA voice, Hetty is here now! Byatt is also an amazing character, under different circumstances I think she would be an alternative revolutionary girl! I so wish we went deeper into her layers, because she definitley has got them! Her character is brave and strong, I think Byatt’s strength is one of the most notable traits about her. And then my darling Reese, mysterious and broken Reese. I think my heart pained the most for Reese, my adorable, strong and enigmatic little queer bean! I loved Reese so much, the dimensions and the arcs we explore with her character are amazing! One of the things I loved most about this entire book was the fact that we had a full cast of Girls, strong, courageous and determined girls that thrive and show their power in the midst of the unfortunate circumstances they find themselves in!
The plot of the book is very well developed, except near the end where I feel things were a bit rushed it could have been longer, but other than that it was great! There were countless times where I though I knew what was happening but then was wrong, I only really was able to piece the puzzles together after 3/4 of the book and that’s coming from someone has read over a gazillion Dystopian YA books in his lifetime! It was very suspenseful and intriguing and kept you wanting to know more! There were some pretty awesome action scenes that I lived for, I am thinking of one in particular that I loved (if you read it it’s the one in the forrest outside Reese’s old house) that scene packed so much suspense, and action while also containing so much emotion and chracter development!
Overall I gave this book a 5/5 star based purely off my enjoyment, but in retrospect it may be more of 4/5 stars, but a great book none the less?
Tell me what you thought in the comments down below if you read it, and if not does this sound up your alley? Do you like gore and horror? I normally don’t but luckily this book wasn’t too extreme there were points where I had to put the book down though, because *chills* and *blergh* but I really actually genuinely enjoyed this book so much, definitely a 2019 fave!