Laura and Alec are trained terrorists.
Jack and Aubrey are high school students.
There was no reason for them to ever meet.
But now, a mysterious virus is spreading throughout America, infecting teenagers with impossible powers. And these four are about to find their lives intertwined in a complex web of deception, loyalty, and catastrophic danger—where one wrong choice could trigger an explosion that ends it all.
America is at war—and five teens are caught in the crossfire.
It began with a virus. Then a series of attacks erupted across the nation. Now the true invasion has begun, and a handful of teenagers with impossible powers are America’s only defense
There are a lot of good authors out there. I have a tendency to get heavy into an author and read everything written to that point. I buy their books for every library I work in, I make sure their titles are in our holiday gift sales, I give them to friends as gifts. Then a funny thing happens. I finish their collection and while I keep buying the books I've read, somehow I lose track of what's new, especially if there is a break in release dates. Then the authors name comes back up and I remember how much I love their writing, and suddenly I'm falling into a black hole of everything they've ever written again. It's a bit like Christmas coming twice. This is what happened with Robison Wells. When I first became a librarian I fell in love with Varient and Feedback and then for some reason Wells fell off my radar. Until a few months ago when I grabbed Black Out off the shelf and instantly remembered how awesome Wells is. I immediately grabbed Dead Zone and his other books are in my TBR pile to be read over vacation.
What I really liked about these books is something that I'm not sure I would have appreciated when the books first came out. When the first book came out in 2013 our country was in a very different place. The idea that Russia could invade was the stuff of books and movies, the thought of children being taken away from their families and warehoused was believed to be a thing of the past, but now it's a little bit like real life. When the real world becomes a scary place, we want an escape, it's why Marvel and DC have had the longevity they do.
In these books Wells introduces us to characters who are extraordinary, with powers they don't quite understand, who are at the mercy of governments that would use them for their own ends. There are no easy answers for these kids, they are pulled away from their families, promised they will kept safe, tested for a virus that no one is sure about and then, if they are positive, they are shuffled to where their abilities can be used best. Across the two books we see these kids struggle with their abilities and with what their role is in this new world. Wells doesn't shy away from showing the horrors of war, he makes clear that no one is innocent and that there are good people and bad people everywhere, and that even the good people can do bad things. So far as I know we don't have teenagers running around with super human powers, but we do have kids out there who need to know they can accomplish amazing things, who need to see that even in the darkest situations they have the ability to reach within themselves to find the power to change the world.
These books were probably the books we wanted when they first came out, in 2018 they are the books we need and I'm glad I'm just discovering them now and I'll be adding them to the library collection in the fall.
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