Genres: YA Science Fiction
As sixteen-year-old Leilani and her family learn to live without electronics, farming the land as her ancestors did, she finds strength in her relatives, her friendships, and her strange connection to the Emerald Orchid--the force whose presence caused global devastation--but suffers regret over what she must do to survive.
Okay, okay. Yes, I said I was done with dystopians and post-apocalyptic books for a while but…I just couldn’t pass this one up. A setting of Hawaii and a story chock-filled with Hawaiian culture? Oh, yes, please. Those sunny beaches, the mai tais, the beautiful volcanoes, the lack of technology.
Wait. What? Yep. That’s right. In the first book of this duology, the world changed drastically with a meteor strike and a green glow in the sky (nicknamed the Emerald Orchid) which resulted in the loss of electricity, leading to major setbacks in technology and a catastrophic failure of most of the systems in place to keep law and order. After an arduous trip back to their home on Hilo, Leilani and her family are now part of a tight-knit group of neighbors who have found a way to survive without technology. However, there are still many threats against them and their new-found way of life.
What I loved about the first book — the detailed setting and deep appreciation of the Hawaiian way of life — is present in the second book as well. This story is a bit more focused on learning to survive, deal with multiple threats and possibly thrive in this new world, especially with the Emerald Orchid, which turns out to be more than just a green glow in the sky (yeah, I’m attempting not to spoil this bit. It’s odd and unexpected but works well for the story.). The story itself could have been a bit tighter, especially when it comes to the dialogue which, at times, comes off as a bit preachy. However, as a bit of a environmentalist myself, I didn’t really mind it so much, since it didn’t overwhelm Leilani as a character or the story itself.
You may not have heard of this story but it’s a strong read and well worth your time!
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