orleans1Reviewed by Sarah Lelonek

This dystopian book reminded me of the things I used to imagine after Hurricane Katrina and of hearing about deadly strains of viruses in my biology classes. Author Sherri L. Smith crafts a novel where everyone in the area affected by hurricanes is stricken with Delta Fever. Delta Fever caused rifts in the remaining survivors; they split off according to blood group (A+ went with A+ and O- went with O-). Fen, the main character, is a feisty, tough woman who resides with the O-positive tribe. She had a difficult life and lost her parents. When her tribe is torn apart by another marauding tribe, Fen rescues a newborn infant and resolves to help the infant achieve a better life. This decision results in a journey that Fen could have never expected and pages and pages of excitement and action for the reader.

I really wanted to get to know Fen from the moment I opened this book; by the end of the book, I thought Fen was one of the strongest female protagonists I had had the pleasure of reading about. She has managed to survive against all odds and even prosper in a setting that most of us cannot even begin to imagine. The tribes live very primitively there are not many resources and most of America has given up on the isolated, quarantined area that Fen lives in.

Daniel is another interesting character. He is a young scientist with a purpose. He intended to study Delta Fever. When Fen runs across him, she isn’t sure what she should do, but the unlikely pair ends up sticking together. Daniel is a great foil for Fen; he is her male equivalent in a lot of ways. They are both head-strong and very determined to succeed at the tasks they have given themselves. They represent two of my nine all-time favorite dystopian characters. I’d highly recommend Orleans to young adult and teen readers.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Krystal is a young college student who loves meeting new authors and finding great books! Her favorite place to read is the Botanic Gardens.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Putnam Juvenile. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.