Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review: Ravenous by Heidi Loney

Overpopulation throttles the world's food supply. In 2050, the government of the Americas introduces the Food Crisis Act--new measures that create a system for growing and rationing food.

Calla Ryan is pretty much your average teen, except for enduring hunger every day of her life. One morning, new sensors at her high school determine that she exceeds the weight limit of the State, and they send her north to a "fat camp" or re-education center.

Calla begins to realize the center holds many secrets. Her counselor dies mysteriously, and new shipments of recruits are the picture of health. Finally, Calla becomes a guinea pig for a dangerous lab experiment.

On the outside, a virus that began overseas has now made its way to the Americas with deadly consequences.

Calla must run from her captors, escaping to the far north with help from the facility's chef and fellow inmates Billy and Madge. And to complicate things, the infected are very hungry.

Source: PDF, given to review by author

The book starts out with a scientific experiment gone wrong and the cover up. Fast forward years later and we have the virus, food sanctioning in the conjoined Americans, and Calla's restricted life.

The first potion of the book does a good job of setting up the scene and problems plaguing the world and the governments' struggles to keep with the demand of the population spurt. The book starts to get a little foggy after Calla's detainment to the "fat camp", friendship with Madge, and relationship with Billy.

The general plotline of the book and sequence of events leading to their escape and new home are fairly easy to follow...after that I got confused with the flow of the book. I feel if the author had threaded more of Calla's possible history and had more descriptions and explanations of the civilizations that evolved before the plague, the book would have been a bit easier to follow and not so choppy. The very end of the novel regarding Madge and her love interest completely baffled me. It left me ending the novel with a question mark, wondering why this wasn't blended into the story, rather than left for a puzzling ending.

Still a good and easy read. I would recommend this novel for the younger age group okay with some elements of sex and violence.

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Heidi Loney is a Toronto based Young Adult Author.  Her new dystopian novel, Ravenous (Ancestry, Book 1), will be available June 1st in Kobo and Kindle e-book format.  Heidi also plans to release her satirical YA novel, Love and Cola Wars this September.  Currently, she is writing Ancestor (Ancestry, Book2) to be released in 2014. Before becoming a novelist, Heidi studied theatre and worked for 15 years as a costumer in many of Toronto’s theatres.
Heidi’s other passion is politics, and you can find her tongue-in-cheek posts on Toronto city politics blog,
Heidi lives in the city with her husband Jack and two (mostly) darling children.

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