Kirkus Pulse review 2014

Best-selling author Carman launches a new series in a dystopian civilization that has its roots in today’s United States.

It’s 2051, and global warming has wreaked havoc around the world. Most of America’s remaining population has moved into one of the two remaining States, where life is stringently controlled and people are kept amused by whatever latest entertainment is available on their ever-present Tablets. Outside the States, life is freer, but even there, kids like Faith Daniels still have to go to school, despite shrinking student populations. On her own, she clings to her friendship with Liz while wondering what it would be like to have a boyfriend like Wade Quinn. She soon finds out that both Wade and his sister Clara are dangerous. When Liz and her family move into the Western State, Faith is even more alone, except for Hawk, a genius hacker, and Dylan, who can not only move things with his mind, but ward off almost all threats to his body. Faith has this extra “pulse” as well…if only Dylan can train her to use it in time. The third-person narration shifts from one character’s perspective to another in short, colloquial chapters, keeping the pace swift from the beginning. Carman’s grounding of his dystopia in this recognizable near-future makes it highly believable.

The successful mix of suspense and romance combines with unexpected twists to keep readers engrossed from the start and begging for more. (Dystopian romance. 13 & up)

Patrick Carman