What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

I think I came across this one as a part of someone's WoW post a long time ago, I don't remember whose, but it definitely sounded intriguing. I have a strange interest in books about contagious diseases. I know, it's weird.
Here's the summary from Goodreads: First came the storms. Then came the Fever. And the Wall. After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct… but in reality, a new primitive society has been born. Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans. In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival.
What I Liked: 1) Well, again the whole contagious disease thing freaks me out in one of those, "I can't look away!" ways. And I thought it was very well researched and presented in a way that I understood it easily enough. But it wasn't so scaled down that it was unbelievable. This was one of the coolest parts about it, that I could actually see how it happened. 2) In the very front of the book, there is a letter signed by the President of the United States as well as the Governors of a number of the Southeastern states that says that the US basically can't figure out how to save everyone, so these states are no longer going to be a part of the US. My jaw practically hit the floor. I mean, I know it was fiction and everything, but just the thought of that, I was like, OMG! So, the inclusion of that was VERY COOL! 2) I admired Fen's determination. There was a lot to her, development-wise, and her backstory was revealed slowly but you learn quite a bit about her. Daniel, while he seemed more forthcoming, ended up being more of a mystery. And I never quite figured out why these two stuck together, but that made it even more intriguing. 3) Even though this story is set in the future, there were pieces of that world's history that was recongnizable. Places, names, events that all struck a chord with me while reading, and lent credibility to the story. Made it even freakier in that it made me think, OMG, well, that actually did happen (Hurricane Katrina is what jumps to mind) so it isn't too big of a leap to get here!

What I Didn't Like: Biggest problem I had was the language. Fen, while obviously educated, she spoke what is referred to as "tribe" in the book, which was supposed to keep her safe. It was mostly some reversed parts of speech and dropped words, but my brain had a hard time following along. It worked, and definitely made sense with the book, but I personally had a hard time with it. I also had some issues with the flow of the plot. It was like, a series of events with white noise in between. Does that make sense? Like what bearing does this have on the storyline? It was very similar to the stopping and starting that I've discussed with other books. I just think some it was a tad unnecessary.

Overall Thoughts: An intriguing idea that translated okay into book form, Orleans had several bright spots, including the determined, loyal, and fearless Fen, and the well-meaning Daniel. So much of this story was historically accurate that it came eerily close to a believable and scary future. Other than some personal problems that I had following Fen's "tribe speak" and the "white noise" problem with the plot, I thought Orleans was an interesting and very unique story.

My Rating: 3 shots

1 comment:

  1. I am so thankful for the written review and your overall thoughts. I would be happy to read more reviews.

    ReplyDelete

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