Seventeen-year-old Tempest Torres has lived on the AgraStar farm north of Atlanta since she was found outside the gates at the age of five. Now she’s part of the security force guarding the fence and watching for scavengers—people who would rather steal genetically engineered food from the company than work for it. When a group of such rebels accidentally sets off an explosion in the research compound, it releases into the air a blight that kills every living thing in its path—including humans. With blight-resistant seeds in her pocket, Tempest teams up with a scavenger boy named Alder and runs for help. But when they finally arrive at AgraStar headquarters, they discover that there’s an even bigger plot behind the blight—and it’s up to them to stop it from happening again. A fast-paced action-adventure story that is Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake meets Nancy Farmer’s House of the Scorpion. – Goodreads.com
In hindsight, have you ever wondered what would have happened if you’d taken a left instead of right, left a little earlier, or chosen the blue pill instead of the red? That’s what security guard Tempest Torres does when her hesitation to take a shot on scavengers results in a domino effect that irrevocably changes not only her life, but her world and the lives of thousands or even millions.
I fell right into this dystopian novel from the first page (I have a weakness for stories involving anything genetically engineered) and the world-building with the author’s take on the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ fascinated me. Excellent character development with Tempest and Alder – they’re fully-fleshed and well-rounded and the lack of romance/insta-love is a refreshing change, proving not every YA novel needs a romantic element to make an interesting read or complete a story.
Although Tempest is fantastic at the physical and strategic aspects of her job, she seems a little slow in connecting the dots upon discovering certain information and for several pages I wondered how long it would take to sink in. Blight is supposedly a standalone, but I felt as if some questions were left unanswered at the end, leaving me a little puzzled.
If the author chooses to continue this story, I’d definitely be interested in reading more and I’d recommend Blight to fans of YA dystopia looking for an original story. Blight is scheduled for publication August 1st, 2017.
Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the digital ARC.