Book Review: Poison by Lan Chan

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Title: Poison
Series: Wind Dancer #1

Author: Lan Chan
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic,
Dystopian, Young Adult

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PoisonPoison
Wind Dancer #1
Lan Chan
CreateSpace, September 2015
ISBN 978-1516807376
Trade Paperback

From the author—

Since the night her mother was murdered, sixteen-year-old Rory Gray has known one truth: There are no good Seeders.

In post-apocalyptic Australia, the scientists known as Seeders have built a Citadel surrounded by food-producing regions and populated with refugees from the wars and famine. To maintain their control, the Seeders poisoned the land and outlawed the saving of seeds.

It’s been six years since Rory graced the Seeders’ circus stage as the Wind Dancer and still the scars on her body haven’t healed. Even worse are the scars on her heart, left by a Seeder boy who promised to protect her.

Now the Seeders are withholding supplies from Rory’s region for perceived disobedience. Utilising the Wanderer knowledge she received from her mother, Rory must journey to the Citadel through uninhabitable terrain to plead for mercy.

However, the Citadel isn’t as Rory remembered. The chief plant geneticist is dying and rumours fly that the store of viable seed is dwindling. The Seeders are desperate to find a seed bank they believe Rory can locate, and they will stop at nothing to get it.

To defy the Seeders means death. But Rory has been close to death before–this time she’s learned the value of poison.

Recommended for fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent, strong protagonists, minority characters, circuses and nature!

In the first few pages of Poison, I knew I was in for a treat when I discovered that Ms. Chan has added elements to what could have been a just-like-all-the-rest dystopian story, elements that lift it above the pack. The Reapers are certainly intriguing but the blood furies really caught my attention. The author doesn’t shoot her wad, so to speak, in those first pages, though; surprises are to be found from one scene to the next. (Glider suits? How cool!)

Ms. Chan is equally adept with plot and character development. The tale of a world that comes into being following devastating famine is unusual with her special touches, leading to pathos as well as resistance against the controlling Seeders, and the near-constant twists and turns left me breathless at times. Rory’s own evolution into a young woman who overcomes her fears and rises above what seems to be neverending adversity is compelling and it’s impossible to be sure who is friend, who is foe.

Australia makes a wonderful setting especially with its native fauna that becomes just a little odder as a result of genetic manipulation. This country’s natural and spectacular beauty lends itself well to a story focused on the environment and, for me, heightened the impact of the disaster that could very well arise from genetic manipulation of our agriculture. Perhaps we should take heed.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, January 2016.

About the Author

Lan ChanLan Chan is a writer, gardener and professional procrastinator based in Melbourne, Australia. She is still waiting for her super powers to manifest but until then she writes young adult novels featuring strong female protagonists, minority characters and has a particular interest in dystopias and urban fantasy. Lan’s debut novel POISON, the first in her WIND DANCER series was released in September 2015.

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Cover Reveal: The Society by Jodie Andrefski

The Society

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Title: The Society
Author: Jodie Andrefski
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Genres: General Fiction, Young Adult

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Synopsis

Welcome to Trinity Academy’s best-kept secret.

The Society.

You’ve been handpicked by the elite of the elite to become
a member. But first you’ll have to prove your
worth by making it through Hell Week.

Do you have what it takes?

It’s time to find out.

Samantha Evans knows she’d never get an invite to rush
the Society—not after her dad went to jail for insider trading.
But after years of relentless bullying at the hands of the
Society’s queen bee, Jessica, she’s ready to take down Jessica
and the Society one peg at a time from the inside out.

All it’ll take is a bit of computer hacking, a few fake invitations,
some eager rushees…and Sam will get her revenge.

Let the games begin.

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About the Author

Jodie AndrefskiJodie Andrefski has been passionate about reading ever since she was a little girl, when she used to climb trees to escape with a favorite book. She now lives and writes in a small town in Pennsylvania with her teenage daughter. Though still an avid reader, she now prefers a comfy chair over the crook of a tree. An unapologetic coffee fiend, she’s even happier if her java comes with pie. Jodie often draws on her background in education and mental health counseling to bring real world experience to her writing. She is a firm believer in the magic of a first kiss, and insists that you should never, ever give up on your dreams.

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