Links on amazon to buy the books:
A Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian series that grabs your attention and keeps you going until the very end. As a whole, I give this series 5 stars. This post includes major story line spoilers, so if you’re interested in reading the books, I suggest you look at my individual reviews on each book before reading any further on this.
The world has fallen apart. A virus has killed all that are not in the age of puberty. All the adults and children have died, leaving the teenagers to run things on their own. Bryn, the main character, is 16 and alone. Her father left her with a very valuable set of skills. She has been trained in Krav Maga since the age of three, and knows exactly how to use it. She teams up with Peter who has made his way to her neighbor’s house across the back fence. Resources are scarce and they decide to leave town because of other gangs of kids gaining violent tendencies, like hunting other kids and eating them for dinner. Bryn and Peter start calling them “canners” so that’s the word we will use as well. The meet up with a stranded German exchange student named Bodo on the road and he joins their ranks. As they become something like a family unit, the three of them battle their way down to the Everglades, having many close calls.
They eventually reach a Native American reservation in the swamp, and fight for their right to stay. The “Meeks” agree to give them food, shelter and safety in exchange for training in Krav Maga. Bryn and Bodo become a couple. At this point in the series there is a slight shift in focus. Before this point, most of the story is about the physcial journey to Kahaytle (the swamp), but now it also becomes an emotional journey. One of their own who was not currently living with the tribe shows up in very bad shape. She escaped a group of canners and came to the swamp for refuge, but not until after they amputated her arm for one of their barbecues. The chiefs, Kowi and Trip, along with Bryn, decide to invade in order to rescue other kidnapped kids and hopefully rid the area of canners.
The canners have a pretty well fortified compound, but are easily penetrated. Bryn’s group suffers many injuries, some of the canners escape, many kids with missing body parts are rescued and Bodo is no where to be found on the return trip to Kahaytle. As they tend the wounded and recover from the attack, Winky and Bryn make plans to go back for Bodo. Bryn has a momentary encounter (one kiss) with Paci, but quickly decides that Bodo may very well be alive and that she needs to focus on finding him.
There is an issue in the swamp with welcoming new people and Bryn decides that it’s time for her to move on. She’s gained a following in the swamp and they start their journey to find Bodo, dead or alive. They find Bodo with a group of girls that call themselves the Amazons. They bargain to get a drugged Bodo back by giving them a baby. (Just read the books, seriously. I’m leaving out a lot of good parts.) With Bodo in tow, they head for a prison to set up a new establishment there and pick up a few extra people on the way.
They reach the prison and naming it Haven, more settlers arrive. Word is out about Bryn and her movement, and some people are coming to staywith her. Kahaytle is attacked and some of the others that stayed behind work their way to Bryn. Her relationship with Bodo becomes very strained. Bryn and her group go back to Kahaytle to rescue their friends, only to meet another group of good kids along the way. They learn of a sort of network of anti-canner kids and team up. They bring more people back to Haven and start to work. Bodo and Bryn end their relationship…. The big finale is coming. The canners attack Haven, and lose. Many lives are lost, but Haven perserveres and becomes the community it was meant to be.
Those are the bare bones of the story line. There is so much more to this story than just that. I strongly urge you to read the books for yourself. You’ll fall in love with Bryn, with Peter, with Bodo, with Winky and with all of the characters. They all have a crucial role in the events that take place. This series is full of humor. It would be easy for this book to be depressing because of the circumstances, but the humor keeps it light. Each person has their own feelings, and you can almost feel it along side them. You feel triumph when something works, pain when someone is hurt, and struggle when times are especially hard. Elle’s writing is so easy to lose yourself in. She creates this alternate reality that is entirely believeable in the way she portrays it.
The only thing I dislike about this series is that it’s over.
My favorite part of all is the controversial kiss with Paci. I loved Paci from the beginning! What’s yours?