AUTHOR = ALEXANDRA BRACKEN
GENRE = DYSTOPIAN FUTURE, ACTION, THRILLER
INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 9, 10
Ruby has grown up in a strange and scary world where children suddenly started dying at age 10. And those who didn’t die seemed to have strange powers which meant they were seen as a threat. Rounded up on her 10th birthday, Ruby has spent the last 6 years in a prison, friendless and intimidated by the guards, fearful that her secret would be revealed. Because all the prison inmates have been classified according to their powers: blues and greens (as Ruby has been graded) are less feared – they can simply move objects with their minds. It is the Orange children who are feared most because these kids can get into other people’s minds and change their thinking – obviously a skill that is feared not just by the guards but also by the govt. Ruby believes that most Oranges have been rounded up and eliminated – hence her fear.
Not only does she possess Orange power, worse still she really doesn’t know how to control it. The few times she has used her power, inadvertently entering another’s mind, she has also managed to wipe their minds clear of any memory of her. This is not a great way to keep friends… so Ruby hides her skills from everyone.
It makes her wary of others too. And her trust takes a further beating when supposed friends who help her escape from her prison turn out to be hiding their true cause from her. Fleeing again, she is fearful of the help she receives from 3 other escapees – even as she begins to form friendships with them.
This is a fast-paced action adventure. The dystopian world may not be fully explained but it is certainly threatening and Ruby’s struggles are credible. An exciting addition to the dystopian fiction genre.
Recommended (dma) ****