Her life gets infinitely more complicated when she comes upon a wrecked bus. The only survivor is Albert Browne, locked in the toilet. He follows her with unflinching faith in her ability to see him safely to the free islands.
The book alludes to a grim past for Scarlett who has experience with the tainted and refuses to live in a town without ever revealing the details. Albert’s story eventually emerges of a life of torture and experimentation at Stonemoor to test his enhanced abilities before he escaped.
Scarlett may act tough but she protects Albert even when turning him in would give her a tidy reward.
They eventually form a friendship that sees them past many challenges and disappointments on their way to the promised lands.
What Left me wanting more: This book has great potential for sequels that I hope come soon! It will be interesting to see if Scarlett ever lets her guard down enough to speak of her past and how she came to possess such fiendishly good thieving skills. Albert may have escaped the clutches of Stonemoor, but there are more unfortunate prisoners and secrets to uncover.
Final Verdict: This book is advertised as 10+ but I would disagree.
The violent situations are plentiful even if they are done with swagger. There is also a fair bit of foreshadowing and hints that completely missed my ten-year-old child’s notice. We loved the humor and swagger, but I think it is better for YA if a child is reading it independently.