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Sunday, 4 January 2015

‘Strangelets’ Michelle Gagnon

Published by Turnaround,
24 April 2014.
ISBN: 978-1-6169-5420-8

Sophie, from LA is dying of cancer; Declan from Ireland has a big Russian pointing a gun at his head; Anat from Israel is inside a tunnel to Egypt, and escape. Then they and three others awake in an abandoned hospital, twenty years in the future ...

This teenage read is fast-moving, sifting quickly from one character or group of characters to another, and with plenty of questions to keep the reader interested. There’s love interest and danger as they try to escape from this strange incarceration. As the truth gradually dawns, we’re also given an explanation, which creates the final solution, and a satisfying ending. I can see teenagers enjoying the pace of the story, and the well-imagined characters. Sophie is gentle, recovering from her illness; Anat has been toughened by her army service, but has a backbone of responsibility for others, as well as the unexpected romantic side that had her running away to marry a man she’d met alone only once; Declan is a tearaway young criminal with a softer side. There are several good twists, and this bleak dystopia is chillingly described.

An excellent teen read, with characters young people would relate to, and plenty of action.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Michelle Gagnon is a former modern dancer, bartender, dog walker, model, personal trainer, and Russian supper club performer. Her bestselling thrillers have been published in North America, France, Spain, Argentina, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Australia. BONEYARD was a finalist for a 2009 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. The first book in her Young Adult PERSEFONE trilogy, DON'T TURN AROUND received four starred reviews and was an IndieNext and Junior Library Guild selection. Nominated for a Thriller Award, it was also chosen as one of the best YA novels of 2012 by Kirkus, the American Library Association, and the Junior Library Guild.
Michelle splits her time between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

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