But what happens when that secret takes on a life of its own?
When an educational safari goes wrong, five teens find themselves stranded in the Kalahari Desert without a guide. It’s up to Sarah, the daughter of zoologists, to keep them alive and lead them to safety, calling on survival know-how from years of growing up in remote and exotic locales. Battling dehydration, starvation and the pangs of first love, she does her best to hold it together, even as their circumstances grow increasingly desperate.
But soon a terrifying encounter makes Sarah question everything she’s ever known about the natural world. A silver lion, as though made of mercury, makes a vicious, unprovoked attack on the group. After a narrow escape, they uncover the chilling truth behind the lion’s silver sheen: a highly contagious and deadly virus that threatens to ravage the entire area—and eliminate life as they know it.
In this breathtaking new novel by the acclaimed author of Origin and Vitro, Sarah and the others must not only outrun the virus, but its creators, who will stop at nothing to wipe every trace of it. – Goodreads.com
Wow – this was good. This is the second book I’ve read by Jessica Khoury – I’ve had another one in my TBR pile for almost a year, but I think I’ll be moving it to the top of the list.
Kalahari is the name of the book and setting – which in this case is a desert – sorry, semi-desert – but the setting itself plays a character in this novel. I can’t imagine many things scarier than being stranded in a desert with no food, water, or shelter, knowing you’re being tracked by people who will probably kill you if you’re found. Oh – and there’s also a silver lion out there who’s hungry. I haven’t read many books set in the desert, but the author must have done extensive research before writing this novel. Even if everything about survival techniques was made up, it all sounded convincing and I wouldn’t know the difference.
Although strong and resourceful, Sarah is primarily a loner who is tossed into a mix of Breakfast Club-like characters that at first glance have nothing in common. As the story progresses, they begin to realize how very similar they are. The group dynamics are highly charged at times, humorous at others, and entirely believable.
This was a fast-paced sci-fi/adventure/thriller YA book that kept me glued to the pages throughout the story – there were no down times here, folks. Although listed as the third book in this series, each is easily a standalone and can be read in or out of sequence.
Kalahari is scheduled for publication February 24th, 2015. This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through the Penguin First to Read program.