Author: S.J. Pierce
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
From the author—
Two hundred years after the Great Disaster, the day earthquakes ravaged Earth’s landscapes, humanity has finally regrouped and is working toward a better future. But in New America – one of three remaining landmasses – the threat of overpopulation makes a better future seem bleaker by the year.
Mira (Mirabella) Foster and her parents are citizens of New America, and with the threat of starvation and disease looming on the horizon, a new discovery threatens to push everyone to the brink of chaos: blue markings develop on people’s skin. Markings that allow them to camouflage their skin, but also make them feared, and eventually, targets of violence.
Mira’s dad is one of them.
I love a good space alien post-apocalyptic story and there are many good such stories out there but Spectacle is one that will remain in my memory as one of my favorites. Yes, it’s more than a little derivative of The Hunger Games but that trilogy is so far above the pack that I don’t actually mind some similarities. Chief among them, and a primary reason I enjoyed this book so much, is a young protagonist who recognizes her weaknesses but has strengths beyond the norm.
We first meet Mira as a child, just ten years old, and the tale soon moves ahead six years but it’s those first few pages that set the tone for the novel and also give the reader the basis for everything that is to come. Ms. Pierce does a really fine job with this and I went into the main body of the story already fully attached to and empathetic with Mira and Jacks and, to a lesser degree, Luxxe. Other characters soon became just as important and entrenched in my consciousness.
Worldbuilding is another strength of this author but it’s especially effective in its simplicity. As an example, the 16-year-old Mira is understandably insecure for a number of reasons, one being her physical differences from others in her tribe. With just a few words here and there, Ms. Pierce made me see these differences and, yet, kept them from becoming bizarre or flashy. I also appreciated the brevity of Mira’s dad’s explanation of his origins and the fact that, again, it’s simple. Simplicity goes a long way with me when there’s a compelling tale to tell.
Now, are there things I didn’t like? Of course there are but they’re mostly just occasional typos and other editing issues that are not overly distracting. Even the romantic elements are not as annoying to me as those found in much of young adult fiction because they’re not nearly so predictable. There’s a lot of action and excitement here, along with a good deal of sadness, and plenty of twists and turns. I’ll be putting this on my 2015 list of favorite books 😉
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, October 2015.
About the Author
Please visit www.sjpiercebooks.blogspot.com and sign up for her mailing list or subscribe to her blog if you’d like to hear when new books come out! Coming soon:
Iris (Novella: The Captivated Series) Available now!!!
Fight for Me (Book Two: The Captivated Series)
Follow the tour here.