Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Review: Sojourn - The Wildlands

Title: Sojourn - The Wildlands (Rayn Mirago #1)
Author: B.D. Messick
Page Count: 420
My Rating: 3.5 TURTLES: A very enjoyable read, I recommend you check it out.
*I was given this book in exchange for an honest review

Rayn Mirago's seventeenth birthday is tomorrow, but there will be no party, no gifts, and no celebration. Like every other child in this world where humanity is on the brink of extinction and resources are at a premium, she must make her Sojourn across the former United States to prove her worth. The human race has nearly been wiped due to overpopulation, global warming, and our own ignorance and conceit. The coastal cities of the U.S. have been reclaimed by the ocean and the Midwest is now a vast desert wasteland known as the Deadlands. The remaining fifty thousand or so survivors in the old United States now live in one of five walled cities, called Enclaves where they eek out a meager existence. 

Rayn's Sojourn begins when she steps through the gates of the Vegas Enclave and into the vast wilderness between the old city and Deadlands, an area known as the Wildlands. She will face many struggles and dangers that will challenge her, make her doubt herself, and force her to realize that she is stronger than she ever imagined. 

But first, she must overcome the burden of leaving her old life, everything and everyone she has ever known and loved behind.

I was drawn to “Sojourn” because of its interesting post-apocalyptic premise and the survivalist aspect that reminded me of “The Hunger Games.” I really enjoyed the attention to detail this book put into the geography. In preparation for her sojourn, Rayn memorizes maps and follows old highway routes on her way to her final destination, so even though civilization as we know it has been wiped out, the characters’ location is always grounded in something familiar. The book also does a great job describing what the landscape looks like and how it has been changed by disaster, so I could really picture the scenes I was reading.

While I thought Rayn’s romance with Luk was really sweet, some of their scenes felt redundant. What I mean by that is that even though the fact that they are shown telling each other that they love one another and cuddling with each other almost every day of the story is realistic, it didn’t really move the story forward. Their relationship is solid from pretty early on and they don’t fight a lot, so after that each scene where they talk about how much they love each other and how glad they are to be together was reiterating something that was already pretty clear and did not change the dynamic between the two of them.

One thing that I missed in this book was a big, final climax. Yes, it is part of a series so there is more to the story, but it felt to me like the story just stopped. The plot has a series of challenges that Rayn and Luk had to overcome, but the challenges at the end were no more drastic than earlier in the book. I felt that if I turned the page I would have more chapters to read, and it would have been nice to have a big, dramatic finish instead.

All things considered, Sojourn is an exciting, immersive novel that leaves many questions and possibilities open for subsequent books. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Young Adult literature, especially those who enjoy dystopia/post-apocalyptic.

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases. 

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