Author: Bethany Wiggins
Genre: YA Dystopian
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages
ISBN-10: 0802734189 (Bloomsbury)
ISBN-13: 978-0802734181 (Bloomsbury)
Reviewed by: Bridget
There is no cure for being stung.
Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered—her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She’s right.
Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.
Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.
Quick & Dirty: This was an action packed dystopian novel with a great plot, sweet romance, fun characters, all set in an intriguing world.
Opening Sentence: I don’t remember going to sleep.
Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep; her last memory was when she was 13 years old. She was happily living with her family. Her dad was retired from the air force, her older sister was in college, and her twin brother was one of her best friends. As she wakes up in her room, her house looks as if it has been abandoned for years. She has a strange tattoo on her right hand and she has no idea what has happened. She soon finds out that the world is very different from what she remembers. She seems to be much older than 13 years old, and her family is missing. The world has become overrun with beasts that use to be human. There was a vaccination that went terribly wrong and turned all its recipients into beasts. There are different levels of beasts depending on how long they got the vaccination; the highest level is a 10 because they got the vaccination for ten months. Level 10s are the strongest and most ferocious. The beasts have no humanity left in them, and they kill without hesitation.
To protect the rest of the people, a walled city has been built and only those with the best of health and enough money have been allowed to reside in the city. Everyone else is left outside to fend for themselves. The militias guard the walls and any beasts that are captured are sent to the labs to be evaluated so a cure can be found. Fiona has the tattoo and she is a level 10, but she is totally normal. She has no systems that point to her being a beast. Everyone is terrified of her and she doesn’t understand why. As she tries to recover her memories about what happened to her she has to survive living outside the wall.
I really liked Fiona. She grows a lot throughout the book. At first she is the total damsel in distress, but as time goes on she really starts to fight for herself and those she cares about. She is a little too trusting at times, but she tries to help others and do what’s right. She has a rough time with the situation she is in, but most of the time she stays positive. I felt that she was easy to connect with and I really enjoyed getting to know her.
Dreyden Bowan is Fiona’s savior. They were neighbors growing up and he is now in the Militia. When she gets captured he is assigned to be her protector until they can hand her over to the lab. At first he doesn’t recognize her, and he is scared of her just like everyone else. In this new world girls are outnumbered 10 to 1 and it is very dangerous to be an unprotected female for obvious reasons. Bowan becomes her protector, friend, and eventually something more. When they were kids he would always tease her, and he was a funny sweet kid. Living in the modern world has hardened him, but he still has a soft spot for Fiona. He risks everything to protect her and keep her safe. I would definitely say that he is a swoon worthy boy and I totally loved him.
This was a really great book. The idea was new and refreshing for a dystopian novel. The book flowed really well and I had a really hard time putting it down. I loved the romance; it developed slow and really sweet. The plot was full of drama, betrayal, action, romance, and suspense. I loved the characters and the story was amazing. This is the first book I have read by Bethany, but after this I will defiantly be reading more from her. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that like dystopian novels.
I roll onto my side, toward the beast, and whimper at what I see. A circle of militia, at least twenty thick, surround the beast and two other people. The militia have their Tasers and automatic weapons trained on the beast, following its every move.
The beast’s muscles twitch and spasm from the electrical residue of the Tasers, but it doesn’t seem to care.
Bowen, his hands raised, speaks soothing words to the beast as he slowly walks toward it. But the beast isn’t paying attention to him. It is looking at the third person trapped inside the armed circle of militia.
Its dark eyes, the irises overwhelmed with pupil, devour me.
And there is nothing human about the way it stares. I am looking into the eyes of a wild animal. A very deadly, brawny wild animal. Bowen looks between the beast and me as if debating something. His jaw pulses, his body goes taut, and then, as if it pains him, he steps between the beast and me.
“You move, you die,” he says to the beast, his voice no longer calm and soothing.
The beast growls and fakes a lunge forward, but Bowen doesn’t budge. A deep, gravelly hum interrupts the silent night, growing slowly louder, like a jet tearing across the sky. And then the sound grates against the night, vibrating in my ears. It is coming from the beast’s mouth. It leaps forward and swats Bowen aside, ?inging him through the air. And then it is just the beast and me. It stares at me, lips pulled back from its stained teeth, drool coating its skin, eyes starved, as if it is about to devour a feast. Me.
FTC Advisory: Walker Childrens/Bloomsbury provided me with a copy of Stung. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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