GENRES: Young Adult Dystopian
AUDIENCE: pre-teen and up
LENGTH: 336 pages
PUBLISHER: Amazon Digital Services
Sequel to the book Night of the Purple Moon, Colony East picks up where that book left off. Nearly all the adults on the planet have been killed off by a strange bacteria dropped on earth the night a comet entered our atmosphere. The world has become a modern day Lord of the Flies and our protagonists Abbey and Jordan, among others, must now survive in a world of children where any misstep could mean death.
The book opens with the group trying to secure pills to combat the terrible bacteria that will kill anyone who reaches puberty. The few adults who've survived in CDC compounds and submarines have pills to distribute, but not nearly enough to save all the children. Abbey, Jordan and their friends manage to get enough pills to save those left behind and head back to Castine Island, their home.
A year later, they've created a new society where adolescents have adult roles and traders bring goods and news to barter. But, a new problem emerges, a disease called the Pig. While our main characters worry about their fate, we are also introduced to another society forming in New York City, Colony East. Some of the remaining military have taking children in and are creating Generation M, the group they will raise to save humanity. But as these two groups struggle to survive another question arises: will they meet their new future with their humanity intact? We may have to wait until the third book to find out.
I read Night of the Purple Moon and liked it. It was a geared more to children than I would have liked, but it was an excellently written book. Colony East is even better, dealing with some very hard issues and showing the harshness of a world gone to rot. Cramer is an excellent story teller and the prose is clean, imaginative and precise. Dialog is believable and realistic. Settings are expertly woven. This book can go page for page with those produced by Big 5 publishers, which would account for why it sits in the top twenty for its Amazon category.
The few things that I didn't like are nit-picky and should by no means dissuade people from picking up this book. I did wonder exactly who this book is geared for. At first it reads like a book for adolescents, but then moves into an adult narrator by chapter one. I liked it, but I am not sure how children and teens would feel. The other thing I struggled with is that Cramer didn't do enough, in my opinion, to make his secondary characters stand out. I often got Mel and Mandy confused. Later here were boys on the island that I kept confusing as well. A good accent or an interesting way of speaking would help. However, the main characters were strong and believable and made up for the fact that I sometimes had to go back to remember who was speaking.
This is an excellent book and definitely worth picking up if you like dystopian stories. Right now Night of the Purple Moon is free and Colony East is reasonably priced. Both make for great beach reading. It's also a great book to recommend to your teens and pre-teens. Cramer does a good job of turning the camera away from violence or vulgarity so that parents can feel comfortable handing this book over to their eleven and twelve-year-olds.
4.5 out of 5 stars
Buy on Amazon.
You can find Scott on Facebook, Twitter and on Amazon.
Katie French is the author of The Breeders Series, a young adult dystopian adventure and other stories. Sign up for notifications, follow her @KatielFrench or like her on Facebook. This post originally appeared on www.KatieFrenchBooks.com.