By: Pam Bachorz
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Published: January 25, 2011; EgmontUSA
Source: ARC received from publisher
Challenges: 2011 Debut Author Challenge
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Summary (from Goodreads): Ruby Prosser dreams of escaping the Congregation and the early-nineteenth century lifestyle that’s been practiced since the community was first enslaved.
She plots to escape the vicious Darwin West, his cruel Overseers, and the daily struggle to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive and gives Darwin his wealth and power. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient that makes the Water special: her blood.
So she stays.
But when Ruby meets Ford, the new Overseer who seems barely older than herself, her desire for freedom is too strong. He’s sympathetic, irresistible, forbidden—and her only access to the modern world. Escape with Ford would be so simple, but can Ruby risk the terrible price, dooming the only world she’s ever known?
My Review: I think I've written this review about five times. I can not get my finger on how I felt about this book. I think what it comes down to is that I saw the potential in this book, and I felt like the longer it went on, the more my interest in the book slipped through my fingers. Let me explain why.
When you are reading a book, the first half of the book is about creating questions in your reader's mind. However, by reading a book, I trust that my questions will be answered, whether or not I like the answers. When they aren't answered, I feel quite let down. I am not very good at creating my own endings or conclusions.
I wanted to know why Ruby and her congregation live so long. Also, has Darwin lived that long? How long have they been in captivity? Why didn't Otto return? Did he actually ever live? What do the Elders and others gain from remaining in captivity? And why is Ruby's blood special?
Oh dear, the suspense in this novel was great. The whole time I thought how great the ending was going to be, and that I was going to be taken in a new and exciting direction. And then the book ended. It was like waking up in the middle of a great dream. All I want to know is HOW IT'S GOING TO END.
So, here's the deal. All of the things that I didn't like aside, the book had it's good moments. I especially loved the descriptions of Ruby being with Ford and discovering the great things in the world. Which is why I'm posting it here on the blog, and giving it 3 stars. If you can suspend your belief and just go with the story, you'll probably like it.
Drugs and Alcohol: None