Wednesday, January 20, 2016

#Wednesday Review - The Isle by Jordana Frankel (Young Adult, Dystopian)

Series: The Ward # 2
Format: E-Arc, 384 pages
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

Jordana Frankel’s thrilling and imaginative novel The Isle takes up where The Ward left off, with drought season coming to a futuristic flooded New York City and its inhabitants suffering from a deadly disease called the Blight.
With the help of a scientist and a racing buddy, drag racer Ren has found a cure for the disease, and her sister, Aven, is on the mend. But Aven’s unexpected recovery has caught the eye of the evil Governor Voss. And when it comes to light that the cure, miraculous healing water, is the only freshwater source in the area, Governor Voss isn’t the only one after the sisters and their invaluable knowledge. Can they save themselves and their city?

Set in a futuristic New York City where a catastrophic flood washed out Manhattan, The Isle is the suspenseful sequel to 2013's The Ward. The Isle actually alternatives narratives between two characters this time around. 16-year old Renata (Ren) Dane, a former drag racer known as the Red Rider, and her 14-year old adopted sister Aventine (Aven) Colatura. You really MUST read The Ward first in order to understand the background on the Blight and how The Isle and Upstate NY fought wars over access to clean water. 

The last time we heard from Aven, she was on her way to recovery thanks to Ren, Callum, and Derek finding a natural spring water source that can actually cure the Blight. Things haven't exactly been any better since finding it. Villainous Governor Voss gets word that Aven has been cured of the blight and kidnaps her, and wants experiment on her until he finds the source of the cure. It is up to Ren and Derek to find a way into the impregnable lab where Aven is being kept and rescue her before it is too late. 

The first book was mainly about Ren and her escapades as a drag racer, and an undercover DI for Chief Dunn of the Internal Police. We see a different Ren this time out, especially after Aven is taken by Voss. Regardless of anything that you will remember in this book, remember that they are the only family that they have. It is the way of things in this world that one chooses to be adopted by someone else, and that is what happened between Aven and Ren. Ren is willing to sacrifice a whole lot in order to prevent Voss from gaining access to the spring, and saving Aven in the process. 

Understandably, Aven wants to prove herself to Ren, and Callum. She's always sat on the sideline watching as Ren raced and then became ill with the Blight which put her life in jeopardy. Aven is going to do whatever she can to prove that she is more than worthy to be treated as an equal. Including making some silly errors in judgment, and traveling to Upstate in order to plead for access to clean water. Overall, I really admired her ability to see the situation of being under the scalpel of Voss. I admired her for wanting to prove herself to Ren, and not just sitting back and watching from the sidelines.  

The Isle isn't a romantic story. It is about the action, the mystery, the friendships, the suspense, shocking revelations regarding Ren which will blow your mind, and an ending that will leave you breathless. It is about a core group of friends who have come together to not only fight Governor Voss, but to also keep a secretive society known as the Tetai from stopping them from giving others access to the spring. 

You have to give Frankel credit. She understands the plight of having a clean water source for everyone. Whenever you look around in Third World countries, you always hear about the lack of a clean water source for the population. Over the years, this fact has become worrisome but not a whole lot of time has been spent on fixing the issue before it becomes a deadly situation. Even though The Ward duology is a science fiction, dystopian story, there are a whole lot of similarities in real world situations. 

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