Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review: Cured by Bethany Wiggins

Cured by Bethany Wiggins
Release Date: March 13, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Now that Fiona Tarsis and her twin brother, Jonah, are no longer beasts, they set out to find their mother, with the help of Bowen and a former neighbor, Jacqui. Heading for a safe settlement rumored to be in Wyoming, they plan to spread the cure along the way--until they are attacked by raiders. Luckily, they find a new ally in Kevin, who saves them and leads them to safety in his underground shelter. But the more they get to know Kevin, the more they suspect he has ties to the raiders. He also seems to know too many details about Jacqui and her family—details that could endanger them all. For the raiders will do anything they can to destroy the cure that would bring an end to their way of life. Bethany Wiggins’s reimagining of our world after an environmental catastrophe won’t fail to stun readers.

I second the last statement in this summary.  This is a stunning series, and I absolutely loved this second installment.  No second book slump here.  This one moved us further into this new world that everyone has to live with, and it's great to see some new places and meet some new people.

I like the fact that the author has moved us out of the original setting and out further into the world, as our small group of characters are trying to reach what is rumored to be a safe settlement in Wyoming.  Naturally, though, it's unlikely that you can move through this new world toward a safe zone and not run into a a lot of trouble with Raiders.

I love the introduction of Jacqui and Kevin into this story.  The story doesn't center around Fiona, Jonah and Bowen anymore. In fact, the narration is by Jacqui, or "Jack" as she's known, since she's pretending to be a boy to keep herself safe.  A lot of books would keep with the original characters as the narrator and move forward, but the author gave us a new point of view.  A risky move, since it runs the risk of distancing the reader as they already met and loved the original narrative.  In this book, however, it paid off, because Jack's head is an interesting place to be.  She's sharp, strong, and able to take care of herself.  Very brave.  You have to love her.

Kevin was a surprising character, and at first, I thought he was going to turn into a cliche... a guy they meet out in the middle of nowhere and sparks fly, etc.  But he turned out to be so much more.  I can't reveal it without ruining some of the story, so I'll just say he was definitely unexpected but welcome addition to the group.

The author managed to shock me more than once in the story, as there were a couple of big twists that I never saw coming.  The writing was tight, the pacing quick, and I flew through the pages.  Another great installment and I am so looking forward to the next book.

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