Bonnie S. Calhoun makes her debut with this young adult dystopian/science fiction trilogy where most of the world’s population lives in isolation, living off the land, amidst the ruins of American cities destroyed by a nuclear holocaust 150 years earlier.
In Thunder, Selah’s life changes dramatically on her eighteenth birthday when she captures a Lander, an alien to her country worth a handsome bounty, especially if he still bears the Lander’s mark. Her brothers steal him from her, but not before she touches him. That touch causes the Lander’s unique mark to appear on her shoulder the next day, revealing her true parentage. She is part-Lander, something her brothers already knew but she did not.
Up until now, Selah Chavez thought her brothers just disliked her. Now she knows they see her as the enemy. Selah runs for her life to the Mountain to find her birth father who is held captive there. The only person who can help her is Bohdi Locke, the Lander she freed from her brothers. Who are the Landers? Why does Selah have new telepathic powers? What are the scientists planning from within the Mountain?
Calhoun creates a futuristic world with a strong heroine, which should appeal to fans of The Hunger Games (S. Collins), and Lisa Bergren’s Remnants series. Romance builds between Selah and Bohdi. The scenes of violence and death, human trafficking, and genetic engineering make this book more appropriate for older teens. Although the book is intriguing, the faith element is essentially non-existent. One wonders if this will be more evident in future books. The next book, Lightning, is coming in Fall 2015.
Recommended for public libraries and school libraries.
Carol R. Gehringer
—reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, 2015.