by Angela Brown
Tsunamis reduced the USA into a shell of itself, called The Fold. Surviving humans and vampires joined forces to form The Colony, where registered citizens do as they're told.
They donate blood quarterly and dream of being chosen as Attendees for the Jubilee celebrations, that is, everyone except Macie Breen. With high school graduation near, she’s anxious to ditch the rules in hopes of starting a new life with Thane, an unregistered and also her best friend.
Her hopes fizzle when Macie is selected as an Attendee, forever registered. Any future with Thane…impossible. Being chosen comes with another unexpected price.
Truths about The Colony blaze into ashes and lies when she discovers the vampires haven't kept their part of the bargain. Worst still, Macie’s life unravels as her stint in the city of Bliss forces her to face daunting truths about who, and what, she really is.
"We’re not kids anymore, Macie. You’ve learned what little The Colony had to say about the vampeer, wights and devil spawn. There’s something else they’ve hidden from you. From all registered citizens. I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time why we met. Just how special you really are. But you won’t want to be my friend anymore once you know the truth. Losing you would be…”
Words trickled from my mouth unfiltered. “I, what do you mean I wouldn’t…”
He turned to me, chewing his bottom lip. The last time he did that was the day I broke first blood.
We were playing at knight warriors, a favorite of ours since we were kids. I thrust my wooden sword forward. It clattered to the ground as I doubled over from a sharp spasm in my stomach. I tried to shoo Thane away, deal with the pain on my own. But, noticing the grimace on my face – I really tried hard to be quiet, but I cried out anyway – he wouldn’t have it. When he glanced at my yellow cargo pants, he chewed his bottom lip, eyes wide. My gaze trailed down to the bloody mess I’d become. My face couldn’t have flashed hotter if I set it on fire.
Now he was doing it again, chewing his bottom lip. What could he possibly have to say? He opened his mouth to speak when the tent flap ripped away. We jerked our heads around to face a tall being covered in shaggy, brown fur from scalp to hoof. A shadowy glow encircled it like a dirty aura. Two arms protruded from both sides. Jagged teeth crowded its mouth. Drool leaked down its chin. Reptilian eyes shone bright white with a red slit down the middle. One set of eyelids blinked side to side as the second set followed up and down. It snarled, spat and drooled some more. My bladder felt one moment away from losing it.
“Frag me,” I whispered as my world collapsed into a nightmare.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Angela now calls Central Texas home. She's a lover of Wild Cherry Pepsi and chocolate/chocolate covered delicious-ness. Steampunk, fantasy and paranormal to contemporary - mostly young adult - fill her growing library of books. Mother to a rambunctious darling girl aptly nicknamed Chipmunk, life stays busy. Her favorite quote keeps her moving: "You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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3.5 out of 5 stars
Beacon by Angela Brown is Book 1 of the 'Ripped Ties' young adult dystopian series that features Macie Breen, an unusual young girl whose parents disappeared during a Jubilee celebration eight years prior. Her only friend, Thane, has made her promise not to give her blood, despite the requirements for donations to the vampeers who keep them all safe. There is a marked division between those who donate, known as the registered, and those who don't, the unregistered, but it turns out that this is a small sample of the issues that divide Macie's world. There are plenty of things that Macie is going to need to learn in order to survive, and one of the most important things to discover is whether Thane is going to help educate her or prevent her from ever learning anything else.
There are a myriad of inventive details in this story that gives a frightening look at a highly regimented society. For me, there was initially a bit too much similarity to a popular young adult series that features a dystopic society, but the action continues to intensify and there are plenty of unexpected twists to hold one's attention. I enjoyed learning about the different relationships that form in this harsh society and the unusual ties that some of the individuals have to each other. It would be nice to have greater information about the different factions which are gradually revealed, but there are plenty of threads to make one curious about further developments and whet one's appetite for many more stories in this intriguing world.
A copy of this title was provided to me for an honest review.