Stranger (The Change #1)

Featured
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
3167 1
Stranger (The Change #1)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
November 13, 2014
ISBN
9780670014804
Buy This Book
      
Many generations ago, a mysterious cataclysm struck the world. Governments collapsed and people scattered, to rebuild where they could. A mutation, "the Change,” arose, granting some people unique powers. Though the area once called Los Angeles retains its cultural diversity, its technological marvels have faded into legend. "Las Anclas" now resembles a Wild West frontier town… where the Sheriff possesses superhuman strength, the doctor can warp time to heal his patients, and the distant ruins of an ancient city bristle with deadly crystalline trees that take their jewel-like colors from the clothes of the people they killed. Teenage prospector Ross Juarez’s best find ever – an ancient book he doesn’t know how to read – nearly costs him his life when a bounty hunter is set on him to kill him and steal the book. Ross barely makes it to Las Anclas, bringing with him a precious artifact, a power no one has ever had before, and a whole lot of trouble.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Awesome Post-Apocalyptic
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What I Liked:
If you follow my reviews, you probably know that I adore books about people with powers. Stranger is totally awesome in this regard. The short version is that radiation from the sun affected the world, sending it into a post-apocalyptic state. Some people have undergone The Change, meaning that they are no longer ordinary humans. The Change happens at some point of hormonal upheaval in the body, like adolescence, menopause, or pregnancy (which totally means women will probably develop badass powers more often). The powers range from completely useless (like a guy who can grow little horns out of his head) to totally epic (like Jennie who is telekinetic). The powers are a total luck of the draw and there’s a lot of creativity in the various things people can do. What I like here is that the results of the change are not the same superpowers in every book.

The other difference from other superhuman books is that nature has been affected as well. Now, I know that’s not totally new either, but again I thought it was done so well. There are these singing trees that throw out crystal shards that kill the victim, turning it into a new tree, which takes on the color of the victim’s clothing or hide. There are rattlesnakes the size of a person. Terrifying creatures have sometimes evolved to look cute and fluffy. The world is recognizable, but everything’s askew. It’s a terrifying world to imagine living in but cinematic and fascinating to read about.

Stranger opens with Ross, the titular stranger, running away from a bounty hunter. The hook totally caught me. The opening chapter establishes the harshness of the landscape really well and sets up how wonderful Las Anclas is. Once Los Angeles, Las Anclas is now sort of like an old western town with some steampunk flair and superpowers. Life in Las Anclas isn’t easy, but they’ve carved out fairly safe, happy lives for themselves. The community has a lot of predictable tension between norms (those unchanged) and the changed. Even so, they seem to be working through that and I found myself really rooting for this town, hoping that the narrow-minded people would see the light and embrace changed and norms alike.

Though I enjoyed basically everything about Stranger, my favorite aspect of the book is the diversity. There’s diversity and then there’s this book. It’s pretty much like I’m used to any urban environment being. There are people from so many different racial backgrounds and not a one of them is defined by their race. Even better, there are both gay and lesbian couples in Las Anclas, and they’re accepted without any judgment. I am so thrilled to read a futuristic novel where, though a lot of stuff is still shit, equality has been gaining ground. Also, the gay couple is basically the cutest thing ever. I ship it. AND, if that wasn’t enough, I swear that there’s possibly going to be a totally canon three-person-couple; I’m not entirely sure if I ship that, but it does have potential. Oh, also, women are in all sorts of respected positions in this town; sexism is pretty much gone too. I LOVE THIS BOOK.

Stranger is told in alternating third person perspectives. Ross, Mia and Jennie get the most focus, but a couple of other characters get points of view as well. I thought the rotating POVs were easy to track and all interesting. One of the aspects I didn’t like as much initially was Felicité, who is just the worst. However, it seems like Brown and Smith are planning to develop her from more than a bigoted bully, which would be fabulous; she could end up having an amazing character arc. It’s easy to love Mia or Jennie, but if they can make me love Felicité by the end, I’ll be impressed. My personal favorite is probably Yuki, mostly because I’m really hoping that “Prince Yuki” is a reference to my favorite manga, Fruits Basket. I also love Jennie’s POV for the realistic relationship struggles with which she’s dealing.

What Left Me Wanting More:
The world building is rather minimal with regards to how the world came to be as it is. For the most part, I was fine with that, since so much time had gone by from the cataclysm and records weren’t really kept. However, I did find the blaming of the backwardness of society on technology a bit frustrating. While it does make sense to have books hard to find because of the popularity of e-readers, I’m getting really tired of that being a plot point in every post-apocalyptic. There’s also a reference to people forgetting how to write by hand because of computers. These things could definitely happen, but they’ve shown up so often that I’m personally over it.

The Final Verdict:
Stranger was a wonderful surprise and has definitely restored some of my faith in the post-apocalyptic YA genre. I am so excited for the next book in the series, though I’ll have to settle in for a long wait.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Beautiful Ones
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites,...
Ember of Night
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
I am a weed. Unloved by my abusive, alcoholic...
Made in Korea
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good...
Perfectly Parvin
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fourteen-year-old Iranian-American Parvin Mohammadi sets out to win the...
Havoc (Haven, #2)
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
For the first time in his life, Rain Ryland...
Finding Junie Kim
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Junie Kim just wants to fit in. So she keeps...
Parachutes
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Speak enters the world of Gossip Girl in this modern...
The Bachmann Family Secret
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jaret Bachmann travels with his family to his beloved...
Sister of the Bollywood Bride
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Morgan Matson's Save the Date comes a...
Nosotros Means Us: Un cuento bilingüe
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A moving bilingual ode to the unshakeable bond between a...
Awakened Are the Starry-Eyed
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A new city and unexpected freedom give Andrea the fresh...
A Brutal Justice
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Protect the weak. Safety for all. Power without virtue is...

Latest Member Reviews

Rent a Boyfriend
 
5.0
"I'm not even sure where to begin with this review, to be honest, because I loved this book so much...."
Reclaimed
 
5.0
"HOW I GOT MY EX HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF REAL AND EFFECTIVE SPELL BY doctor0lovespell@gmail.com My name..."
New Moon (Twilight #2)
 
5.0
"HOW I GOT MY EX HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF REAL AND EFFECTIVE SPELL BY doctor0lovespell@gmail.com My name..."
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)
 
5.0
"HOW I GOT MY EX HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF REAL AND EFFECTIVE SPELL BY doctor0lovespell@gmail.com My name..."
Twilight (Twilight #1)
 
5.0
"HOW I GOT MY EX HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF REAL AND EFFECTIVE SPELL BY doctor0lovespell@gmail.com My name..."
Counting Down with You
 
5.0
"HOW I GOT MY EX HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF REAL AND EFFECTIVE SPELL BY doctor0lovespell@gmail.com My name..."
Counting Down with You
 
5.0
"HOW I GOT MY EX HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF REAL AND EFFECTIVE SPELL BY doctor0lovespell@gmail.com My name..."
Parachutes
 
4.7
"WHAT I LOVED: Claire is a rich Chinese girl living the high life in Shanghai with both her parents even..."
Sister of the Bollywood Bride
 
4.0
"SISTER OF THE BOLLYWOOD BRIDE is an engaging YA contemporary read about sisterhood, family, and community with a dash of..."
On the Way to Birdland
 
5.0
"Reviewed By Vincent Dublado for Readers’ Favorite A touching coming of age novel by Frank Morelli, On..."
The Hollow Inside
 
5.0
"THE HOLLOW INSIDE is a shocking and riveting YA thriller. Phoenix and her mother Nina have been living out of..."
Spells Trouble (Sisters of Salem, #1)
 
4.3
"SPELLS TROUBLE is a thrilling YA fantasy that takes the reader from Salem during the witch trials to the midwest..."
10 Truths and a Dare
 
3.7
"10 TRUTHS AND A DARE is a book about family and owning up to your mistakes. Olivia is about to..."
The Beautiful Ones
 
4.0
"It's the start of Grand Season and Nina's chance to join the Beautiful Ones, Loisail's notable socialites, hasn't gone well...."
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #1)
 
5.0
"This was... one of the best books I've read in a long time. It was one of my absolute favorite..."
Yes No Maybe So
 
5.0
"I should start by saying I don't normally read books involving politics because I read to escape real life. That..."
Made in Korea
 
4.7
"MADE IN KOREA is a sweet romantic-comedy about competition, family, and reaching for your dreams. Valerie runs a very successful..."
The Keeper of Night
 
5.0
"HOW I GOT MY HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF DR.IFADE CONTACT ON WHATS_APP NUMBER +1(551)333-5249. OR HIS EMAIL ..."
Perfectly Parvin
 
5.0
"PERFECTLY PARVIN is a laugh-out-loud, charming YA contemporary fiction read. Parvin is about to begin her freshman year of high..."
Thirty Talks Weird Love
 
5.0
"******PLEASE READ***** URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR..."