Author: Elizabeth Scott
Hardcover, 200 pages
Date Published: September 16, 2010
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
A fable of a terrifying near future by critically acclaimed author Elizabeth Scott.
Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom. In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate.
Told in spare, powerful prose, this tale of a dystopian near future will haunt readers long after they've reached the final page .
Grace feels shame towards herself for not whole-heartedly believing in the life she was raised to have. A girl born to die. The world that she lives in may not be so unlike our own. It’s a terrifying fact, but our world is centered around power, as is Grace’s. The power that one man possesses can destroy the lives of many and Grace lives that everyday.
On her journey for freedom, Grace encounters a young man about her age. The things she learns from him are insurmountable compared to the things she has been taught in the past. A few days and a train ride give her the startling realization that the People that raised her and proclaimed she was born to die, may not be all that better than the Keran Berj, the man ruling the land ruthlessly, ordering death with the twitch of a hand.
Elizabeth Scott has surprised me once again with this shockingly and potentially, plausibly, maybe even probably, realistic take on suicide bombers and the pain they harbor inside of them. Grace is young and should be innocent, but that is all taken from her. Stolen. And after everything that she has gone through, all she wants is life. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for, but in her world, it’s unthinkable. Unforgivable. Shameful.
The writing style is so unique here because the sentences are clipped, succinct, and completely direct. The near lack of dialogue surprised me at first, but it feels right. To truly understand what Grace is going through, we need to be in her head, knowing her thoughts and feeling her emotions. Much of the book is introspective and it’s despairing to see how much Grace has gone through in such a short time. It’s unlikely that I’ll ever forget Grace and her struggle for life.
Grace is a haunting tale of a world filled with death and destruction; Sacrifice and pain. Nothing is quite as it seems and the Angels in this world are harbingers of death disguised as young girls. It’s a story of a girl struggling to survive, but also about a bigger picture. A picture that depicts a war that has no winners and no right and wrong, only the lives lost along the way. This story will make you open your eyes to both sides of war and make you see the innocent people caught in the middle.
Opening line: I’m afraid my hair is showing. ~ pg. 3
Favorite lines (I have two):
Sometimes, I don’t think there is anything beyond what is here, what is now. I think that maybe beyond this world – this train, this desert we are passing through, this heat swelling all around – there is nothing. ~ pg. 28
And this one:
To be so young and so cruel – he was the end of the world made flesh. ~ pg. 114
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.
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