Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Review: Thunder by Bonnie S. Calhoun
One hundred-fifty years after nuclear holocaust in America, Selah is facing an arranged and unwanted marriage. It is the day before her eighteenth birthday, and she is hunting a particular type of rabbit that she has discovered is not contaminated by radiation during the apocalyptic events of the past. What she is really after are Landers, mysterious people from a land across the water whose small boats occasionally crash against the shore of her land. She knows she should leave the capture to the men, but Landers bring a good price when sold, and she hopes that a capture would make her so valuable to her father that her marriage might be postponed.
Selah's plans fall apart when the Lander she catches is stolen by her brothers--and Selah wakes up the next morning expecting to celebrate her birthday only to find the Lander's distinctive mark has indelibly appeared on her own body. Where once Selah considered herself the hunter, she now finds herself one of the hunted. And so begins her quest for discovering her true identity.
Calhoun adeptly describes a strange new world that has evolved into specialized, though deliberately isolated communities...juxtaposing the inequalities of living with scientific advances against living in the wild and off the land. This is a very well written multi-themed story that, according to the publisher, will appeal to someone between the ages of twelve and seventeen. The combination of futuristic scientific progress, political chicanery, wilderness survival, armed combat, and, of course, romance will catch the interest of both male and female readers. Additionally, the novel addresses many other themes of concern to adolescents: love, ethnic diversity, and friendship, family relationships, fear of the unknown, sociocultural status, sexuality, trust.
I was surprised to find myself becoming engaged in the storyline, but I do enjoy stories of man overcoming the elements when rebuilding after a devastating catastrophe. It is an excellent Young Adult fiction, but I must disagree with the reader age range. My recommended range would be fourteen to nineteen, as the scenes of violent death are better dealt with at an older age. Having said that, I don’t feel a story of people trying to survive the aftereffects of nuclear war would ring authentic without the characters dealing with the reality of death.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thunder is author Bonnie S. Calhoun's first Young Adult novel and is the first book in her Stone Braide Chronicles series. In her everyday life, Bonnie is a seamstress and clothing designer, and teaches workshops at writers' conferences.
*** The opinions in this post are all mine. I recently became a Family Christian blogger and as such received this complimentary book from Family Christian Book Store.