Author: Camila Victoire
Genre: Post-Apocalytpic, Dystopian, Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 5 Stars
At the end of the twenty-first century, climate change and famine almost ended humanity—until the discovery of the Klujns, a barbaric, humanoid species with strangely colored eyes and even stranger abilities. Their crystal claws and bones fertilize barren soil, and their tender meat is a super-protein. Klujns are both humans’ saviors and natural-born enemies, meant to be hunted and used.
When sixteen-year-old Ava finds herself on the wrong side of a military fence erected to protect the North American Territory, she’s captured by Klujns and made to participate in the Blood Race, a macabre tradition where young human hostages compete to the death for Klujn amusement. At first, she is terrified, but as Ava observes Klujn behavior that contradicts what she’s learned, she begins to wonder: Are Klujns as different as she was led to believe? And, as she fights for her life, does it matter?
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
This book was fantastic – the worldbuilding was painted with the vibrant brushstrokes of nature and the grotesque spill of human greed. It is based around a split world far into the future when humanity has completely wrecked the planet, and now commits abhorrent acts of cruelty, greed, and cannibalism, while the last few vestiges of nature try to reclaim what once was despite the war against them.
Ava made a dynamic and interesting character. She’s a bit of a loner, a bit out of place in her world… but brave, determined, kind, and filled with curiosity. As a character she went on quite the journey of discovery, learning not only about her world and the lies holding it together, but ultimately, who she is once everything is stripped away. I adored her.
The story itself was well-written – it flowed well, and it wasn’t bogged down by typos or stupid character choices. It wasn’t always a pretty story… there was plenty of death, gore, and cruelty, but it wasn’t all dark either.
I don’t want to ruin this story for anyone, so I’ll leave it at this: if you like dystopian, post-apocalyptic stories filled with challenges, strong characters, and hard choices, this is the book for you.
There’s just a bit of magic, a wonder of the natural world, and a lot of terrible people. I’m excited to read on further in this series.