Friday, June 1, 2018

ARC #Review - Mayfly by Jeff Sweat #YALIT #SyFy

Series: Mayfly (#1)
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Release Date: May 8, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult / Post-Apocalyptic

A futuristic thriller that pits teens against teens.

Jemma has spent her life scavenging tools and supplies in her tribe's small enclave outside what used to be a big city. Now she’s a teen, and old enough to become a Mama. Making babies is how her people survive―in Jemma’s world, life ends at age seventeen.
Survival has eclipsed love ever since the Parents died of a mysterious plague. But Jemma’s connection to a boy named Apple is stronger than her duty as a Mama. Forced to leave, Jemma and Apple are joined in exile by a mysterious boy who claims to know what is causing them to die. The world is crumbling around them, and their time is running out. Life is short. Can they outlive it?

Mayfly, by debut author Jeff Sweat, is the first installment in what is believed to be the Mayfly series. The author has created a curious post-apocalyptic world where the Parents are gone thanks to an unknown plague which kills almost everyone once they become an adult. 15-year old Jemma lives in a place that the author is calling Holy Wood. In Holy Wood, when you turn 15, you are supposed to become a Mama until the End comes. Jemma has no desire to become a Mama. She wants to live her life the way she wants to live it. She also wants to enjoy her time with Apple, the boy she has known most of her life. She isn't the best gatherer, but she does her best. She could be a farmer, but she's too impatient. She could even be one of the Muscle which normally goes to boys only, but she can't handle the blood. 

But, there's a caveat. If you refuse to become a Mama, you are liable to be exiled and find yourself among The Last Lifer's. Life Lifers are a feral band of children who've gone made in anticipation of their early deaths. They live throughout Ell Aye in violence and chaos because they fear no consequences. As a Gatherer, Jemma is supposed to go out and gather supplies and anything else she can find in order to keep Holy Wood running. On one such mission, she and Apple encounter Last Lifers and are forced to fight for their lives. This is also the part of the story where an twist is thrown in which will lead to even more curiosities. Jemma's world changes with the arrival of Pico, an exile she accepts from another community who is as curious about the world, as Jemma is. 

I have chosen Jemma to lead off my review because she really does have the most storylines and the most happen to her right out of the gates. Besides Jemma, the author also uses Apple, Jemma's best friend Lady, and Pico who is a real surprise as a character to tell his story. There will be others along the way, but I will stick to the original four for now. The characters in this book all live around Ell Aye. They include those who live in The Malibu; The Downtowners who live around what was formerly Los Angeles and the LA Memorial Coliseum; The San Fernando's who competes with those from the Holy Wood for supplies. Then you have the troublemakers; I've already mentioned the The Last Lifers, but there's another group that is just as dangerous. The author calls them The Palos. Palos are biters aka cannibals. They are the top of the food chain, literally, when it comes to their intelligence and their viciousness. Jemma, Apple, Pico, and Lady join together in an epic journey through Ell Aye where they will encounter even more interesting people like The Kingdom, and The Ice Cream Men.

If you are from the Southern California area, I think you will get a kick out of the places that the author uses for his story. Especially The Kingdom which I am absolutely sure you can guess right away. While Jemma has a mystery side to her, it is Pico who is probably the character with the most depth. He is special not unlike Jemma. He can read. He carries a map of the area. He has been searching for the reasons behind the End, and really believes that there may be a way to fix things. Pico also meets up with another curiosity in Grease who creates some pretty unique items like a golf cart for the apocalypse. As I reached the ending, I was a bit disappointed by the revelations and the way the book abruptly ended. However! I used some sources and found out that this is NOT a standalone. It is part of a series! Yay! I say yay, because the author really lays out a whole lot of eye opening things for the readers to put the pieces together with. I am also going to say this. While I enjoyed Jemma, don't ignore Lady. Lady is the most spirited, the most interesting, and the one who goes from wanting to become a Mama to really standing out as someone to rally around.  

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