by Amy Christine Parker
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Released: August 6th 2013
Genre: Fiction- YA: Thriller
How I got it: NetGalley
Do the gates keep the unchosen out or the chosen in?
In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members of the flock. They moved here following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned:
Pioneer is her leader.
Will is her Intended.
The end of the world is near.
Like Noah before him, Pioneer has been told of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must arm themselves to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the compound's underground fortress--the Silo.
Lyla loves her family and friends, but given the choice, she prefers painting to target practice. And lately she'd rather think about a certain boy outside the compound than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But with the end of days drawing near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side, and let everyone know where she stands.
Review: Ok so when I requested this book I thought it was a post-apocalyptic / dystopian type read. It's not. Get that idea out of your head right now. This book is so much more. It's fictionalized take on cults in general. I mean Ms Parker had me buying into it, right up until Pioneer's “visions”. Lyla was a great character, she was naive enough to buy into what she was supposed to but had enough sense to ask questions. Despite what she thought and what the others thought she was a tough cookie.
Pioneer creeped me out from the get go. The way he orchestrated things and conned these people who trusted him and had been victims before.
That's what made all this so much harsher. The people in the compound where sick of the outside world, the harshness and violence that is out there. I could understand that, I could understand wanting to live a simpler existence. That part of their lifestyle was appealing, but when Pioneer started talking about his visions and an apocalypse I think I might have taken a step back and gone exsqeeze me. Yet these people didn't they rolled with everything the smooth talking snake said. The really scary thing is this stuff happens in real life. That thought hung in the back of my mind the entire time I was reading this book.
Yet I still had a hard time wrapping my head around how these smart upstanding people got suckered by Pioneer. I could understand the kids devotion having grown up there and seeing their parents devotion.
Anyway the book was really well done and a thrill ride as I followed Lyla through trying to figure out who was right and who was wrong. It was an emotional roll-a-coaster as well, Lyla was so well done as a character, I felt for her. With the twist and turns in the plot, I couldn't put this book down. An excellent read.