From the moment I read the first page in this book, I just knew, you know?
Do you know the feeling you get when you start reading a book and you can tell right off the bat this is going to be one of you absolute favorites?
The story starts with Ruby telling us about the disease. Iatrogeneic Acute Adolescent Neurodegeneration (IAAN) for short. It’s killing all the children of America. Kids as young as 9 or 10 are just dropping dead. Out of nowhere. Hundreds of thousands of them.
But the problem isn’t with the children who die. The real threat are the children who survived the disease and developed supernatural mental abilities so terrifying that the government decided to round them up and transport them in droves to forced labor camps. The ones that proved rehabilitable, that is.
But Ruby hasn’t told anyone what she can really do and that’s the only thing that’s kept her safe so far, but it’s also causing her to live in constant dread of being discovered. Of being labeled dangerous and shot like an animal. Or worse.
The story follows Ruby’s life in camp, the endless monotony of scheduled meals, scheduled sleeping and waking times, constant work and the ever present danger of the PSF officers who could kill you for the slightest infraction.
When Ruby is broken out of camp one day, she thinks a miracle has happened. That she was finally free. Little does she know that everyone has an agenda and the world outside has ceased to become what she once knew.
The Plot: is an absolute monster. You won’t see 90% of it coming.
The Ending: Heartbreaking. I won’t say anymore but just so you know. Brace yourself for the ending because it’ll hurt.
Character Development: Ruby starts out as a timid, gullible little child and over the course of the story and the horrible things that end up happening to her and her friend she becomes a stronger more self-sufficient person. However, with that she becomes harder. She’s forced to make difficult sacrifices to save the people she loves and it rips her up on the inside. It changes her in a profound and not all together better way.
The most fascinating part of the book for me was the disease itself and the kids who survived it and went on to become Psi.
They were classified according to their “powers” or “abilities” into colors.
The Greens: were intuitive and had the ability to know things without being told.
The Blues: were telekentic.
The Yellows: could manipulate electricity
The Oranges: Had the ability to control other peoples’ minds; bend them to their will.
The Reds: could manipulate and start fires, make objects burst into flame.
Society’s reaction was to call them freaks and look them up into concentration camps..especially the Oranges.
Obviously, I don’t condone it and I’m not saying it’s right. It’s a heinous and twisted thing to do to a bunch of helpless, scared, confused children. But I DO understand the urge.
Especially with the oranges; think about it: How can you trust a person who can manipulate your mind? Who can make you do whatever he/she wants you to do?
How do you know anything you’re doing is of your own volition? How do you know anything at all when it comes to this person?
One simple touch and you could be clucking like a chicken or shooting yourself in the head. Can you understand the fear that garners? Of course people would want to protect the security of the inside of their brains. Of course people would panic and become violent. Even towards children.
Will I read The sequel: ”Never fade”?: I will neither eat nor sleep (peacefully) until I get my hands on that book.