Author: Jennifer Bosworth
Genre: YA, dark fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, apocalyptic/dystopian
Publication Date: May 8, 2o12 (expected)
Summary: Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.
Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.
Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.
☆: 4/5- A shiveringly awesome debut!
Review: Wow, this is not what I expected it would be, but “Struck” is one of those books that just keeps you guessing, leads you all over the place, and becomes a totally different animal by the end of the story. There’s lots of religion in this one, so if you’re not into that, this may not be the book for you. Just a warning. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this one, and I’m glad it’s a standalone – Bosworth did a great job with wrapping everything up by the final page.
This one is hard to evaluate because it goes to so many different places. What is at first just a “lightning addiction” swiftly turns into a fight about who gets to end the world first – the Prophet’s people or the Seekers? It’s something I didn’t see coming at all, and while I love that in a book, it was also kind of confusing. I feel like one more draft could have helped this one out quite a bit, because it gets very tangly and snarly in the transition into the last third of the book.
However, I’ll give Bosworth one thing – she has her worldbuilding down pat. She does a great job with building up a very credible broken LA even with fantastic figures within it (and fantastic possible causes to the earthquake that caused all of the damage in the first place). Some of the best parts of the book is just the scenery itself when we get to see it – Bosworth certainly knows how to use her sensory language and imagery, and isn’t afraid to torture her characters to get what she wants out of them. I did have a bit of a panic attack halfway through, though, because some of the post-quake imagery hit a bit too close to home (I wasn’t at the exact epicenter of the Northridge 1995 quake, but my house did get pretty messed up from it). You know an author’s doing it right when she can get a response like that out of me.
I do feel like some of the relationships needed some extra drafting as well -the romance felt more than a little underdone, and this brought down my enjoyment of the book a fair notch. If anything, because it was so…well, I don’t want to say badly handled, but kind of poorly handled, I think that it should have been cut from the book entirely and honestly, it would have been a better story all the more for it. It didn’t interest me, and since this is Mia’s story (and mostly her story alone up until the end), I just don’t think it was needed.
Overall, though, this was great. The ending, even if snarly and tangled, was really well done. The ending and plot make up for the not-enough-fleshed-out characters and the flat relationships quite a bit, so all in all, I liked it. But I’m glad Bosworth made the decision to make this a standalone, because other authors probably would have tried to stretch it too thin by giving it a trilogy. This was just the right amount of story for this particular plot.
Final verdict? Definitely worth the read. “Struck” is out from Macmillan in North America on May 8, 2012 so be sure to check it out then and tell me what you think!