03. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

Orleans by Sherri L. Smith, 336 pages, read by Angie, on 03/01/2013

Hurricane after hurricane as hit the Gulf Coast. Each one destroying more and more until finally the last one pretty much wipes out the Delta. Then comes diseases and finally Delta Fever. Everything is so polluted after the destruction that disease runs rampant. Delta Fever is something new that attacks by blood type and only transfusions will slow the disease. The Delta is released from the US and a wall built to keep the survivors and the fever safely away from the rest of the world. The people left behind do not crumble; they recreate their civilization; they form tribes based on blood type and they survive. Fen de la Guerre is one such survivor; she is an OP (O positive) and has her tribe. But her tribe is attacked and she is the only survivor except a newborn baby girl whose mother, the OP tribe leader, died birthing her. Fen must find a way to survive and keep baby girl alive.

Into this crazy world comes Daniel, a scientist from across the wall. He was been working on a cure for Delta Fever and found one with only a small drawback, not only does it kill the virus it also kills the host. He is hoping there is something in the Delta that will help him fix his virus. Of course, Daniel is useless in the world of Orleans and needs Fen to help him survive. Together they must travel across Orleans looking for information and surviving the dangers of the Delta.

I was getting burnt out on all the post-apocalyptic dystopians that have been coming out the past year, but this one restored my faith in the genre. Orleans is a well-written, well-developed book with a great story. Sherri L. Smith really spent a lot of time building this world and laying out the details for the reader. You know exactly how Orleans became what it is. You understand the people and what they are doing to survive. I also love that in this world race no longer matters. You know there are people of different racial backgrounds but what separates them is not the color of their skin but the type of blood they carry. Nothing else really matters except your blood type in Orleans.

Fen is a great female character. She is strong, she is a survivor and she will do whatever she needs to do to stay alive. She doesn’t really care about a lot of other people but she still has hope. I liked the dual narrators, although I was much more interested in Fen’s story than Daniel’s. I enjoyed the fact that there was no romance in this book. Dystopians so often fall into romantic angst or god-forbid love triangles, but Orleans steers clear of all of that. Fen and Daniel are worried about survival not hooking up (as it should be). Fen’s part of the book are written in dialect which might turn off some readers, but I didn’t find it difficult to understand at all. I like the open-endedness of the ending; this is a world I wouldn’t mind returning to.

I received this ARC free from Netgalley.com.

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