Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First I want to thank Netgalley for letting me read the egalley of this book. This is the first book I've read by this author, although I know of her from seeing her books at the bookstore where I work. So the premise sounded good, and I'm glad I requested it, and now I will be looking to read more of the author's books.
First I want to say there are some spoilers in this review, so read on at your own risk. First I have to say the cover of this is something that might turn me away. The story sounds good, and knowing the story now that I've read it the picture works, but before it was a little too sci-fi for me. And I do like science fiction. But this is a dystopian, apocalyptic, zombie book all in one. With even a touch of the X-men. The book starts out in the past, but you don't necessarily know that. We meet Peyton, and learn about the nerdy guy who has a crush on her, Chris. But Peyton is friends with one of the most popular girls, and is dating a popular guy, so isn't interested in Chris. Her friend, while popular, does seem to be a nice person though, not a mean girl. Her boyfriend, is pretty much a jerk though. In this dystopia, due to AIDS becoming a huge problem, they have created a vaccine, and you must get a certificate saying you've had your vaccine before you're allowed to have sex. Peyton's father is something of a pariah/freak in the town. He is basically a conspiracy theorist, even went to jail for something like that. Now he's preparing for the end of the world that he says is coming soon. A good start to the book, got me hooked.
Then, the next chapter, all of a sudden we're 4 years in the future, the apocalypse has occurred and Peyton is getting ready to come out of the safe shelter her father created for her and her mother. And as I read that, I was like, WHOA!!! I want to know what happened that led up to that point! But I was not to be disappointed, it turned out that the author changed back and forth between each chapter so that we got the whole story up to the time when Peyton came out into the new world as we learned what Peyton had to go through to get to her father. Her father implanted her with razor claws, kind of Wolverine like. And she got eye implants that helped her to see things, had GPS, could see the heat signatures, which helped her to find zombies. She also had nanobots in her bloodstream that made her stronger. So basically she became a fighting machine. She is so happy to find Chris still alive, or as he now is called, Chase. Chase is happy, but still a little upset with her. See, Peyton never showed up on the day he and his brother, and a band of other students from school, decided to go to the mountains to try to live it out.
Peyton has to get to Disneyworld. The one thing her father told her before she went down in the shelter was that he and some other scientists were meeting there to start a new society. That it was a safe place they could have everything they needed there. Plus, Peyton's implants will begin to go downhill after 4 years, and she'll need her dad to fix them.
I loved the back and forth by chapter. It worked really well for this story. YOu only learned what you needed to answer questions in the chapter before. I liked that, spoiler alert, this is a stand alone story, there is a solution to the problem, and it can be fixed. I won't tell you how, I'll let you read that yourself.
My only complaint, I'm not sure I like the way Peyton and Chase kept having to hide their feelings from each other for the good of the other one. Then they'd share and get past that, but then something else would come up and they'd vow not to get close again. It happened several times in the book, and it just seems to me that two people would agree to not keep doing that. I know they're still kind of young, like 19, but still. When they read their destination there is a surpise I didn't see coming, and I like that I was able to be surprised and not figure it all out. One other tiny thing that bothered me. Chase/Chris name change. There were times Peyton called him both names. I think either stick with the old or the new.
Great characters, I liked the kids, reminded me a bit of Monument 14 in that way. I liked the living in Walmart too. I think if zombies come, I'm going to go live in a nearby Target. :-)
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