Friday, February 22, 2013

Book Review: Stung by Bethany Wiggins

Fiona wakes up in her own room, but everything’s different. The house is trashed. The girl she sees in the mirror is older, thinner, haggard. She has a spider tattoo on her hand, a tattoo she somehow knows she needs to cover up with her sister’s concealer. And her beloved twin brother comes after her in a rage, his growl just like a monster’s.

She runs away from him through a world that’s changed too. Most everything’s dead or in ruins. People are wary, conniving or worse. And turning in someone who is marked can earn you precious ounces of honey.

STUNG is a gripping novel about science gone very wrong. First there were the gen-altered bees. Then there was the bee-flu. Then there was the vaccine against bee-flu that turned out to be plague.

This near-future Denver that Fiona faces is horrific but plausible given the careful worldbuilding - which unlike many current half-baked dystopians/post apocalyptics - actually reveals how current conditions arose and how people changed in order to deal with them. Thus the zombie chicken merit badge for worldbuilding.

But - I very nearly gave this novel the badge for romance, because the slow-burn relationship between Fiona and her eventual captor Bowen, a neighbor boy who used to tease her, was one of my favorite parts.

Those looking for something fresh and intelligent in the dystopian genre, this one’s for you.

STUNG comes out on April 2, 2013. Find out more about it at the author's website.

PS - Yes, there's a sequel planned for 2014 called CURED.  I may have danced a little jig when I found that nugget of news. 

FTC disclosure: NetGalley


Cecelia said...

Fresh and intelligent dystopian with a slow burn of a romance? SIGN ME UP NOW.

Thanks for pointing this one out, Lenore!

Bethany Wiggins said...

Thanks, Lenore!!! Amazing review, especially from a fellow writer.

Sarah said...

WOW. That cover creeps me out.

Christina said...

Merit badge for world building and a slow burn relationship = GRABBY HANDS.

Anonymous said...

hmmm... I love bees, and i love stories about medical/genetic stuff/science gone horribly wrong, so this is definitely one i want to read! I don't even mind a little bit of romance.