I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Children of the Different by S.C. Flynn
Published: September 10th 2016 by The Hive
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: the author
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Children of the Different is a young adult post-apocalyptic novel set in a future Australia. A disease has wiped out most of humanity, and the only people who survived were those who had something different about them mentally–i.e. psychic powers, brain damage, coma, etc. The protagonists are a set of twins who were born after the cataclysm. Arika and Narrah live in a small enclave of survivors. Because of the virus, children who hit puberty go into a trance-like state referred to as the Changeland, and come back from it with some kind of new power or ability. That is, if they don’t come back a zombie.
Arika and Narrah have always had a psychic connection to each other. When Arika enters the Changeland, the connection is weakened, and both characters find themselves alone for the first time in their lives. And at the same time, they are thrust into situations where they need to rely on and trust each other in order to survive, all while feeling alienated from themselves as their minds and bodies change. The Changeland is so insightful into the feelings one has during puberty. We many not have psychic powers, but we all change as we grow up, and often without feeling ready for it.
One of my favorite elements of Children of the Different was looking at how different groups of survivors responded to the apocalypse. Arika and Narrah are part of an enclave that saw technology as the cause of disaster, and so there was a back-to-the-land ethos that permeated every aspect of daily life. In his adventures, Narrah encounters a scientist who has brought together survivors in the hope of using technology to make the world better. And Arika uncovers an ocean-worshiping cult who believe that the secret to survival will come from the oldest forms of life.
I loved this book. Children of the Different is trippy and surreal, and is a thought-provoking adventure.