- Expected Jan 26, 2021
Katharyn Blair crafts a fiercely feminist fantasy with a horrifying curse, swoon-worthy sea captains, and the power of one girl to choose her own fate in this contemporary standalone adventure that's perfect for fans of The Fifth Wave and Seafire, and for anyone who has ever felt unchosen.
For Charlotte Holloway, the world ended twice.
The first was when her childhood crush, Dean, fell in love—with her older sister.
The second was when the Crimson, a curse spread through eye contact, turned the majority of humanity into flesh-eating monsters.
Neither end of the world changed Charlotte. She’s still in the shadows of her siblings. Her popular older sister, Harlow, now commands forces of survivors. And her talented younger sister, Vanessa, is the Chosen One—who, legend has it, can end the curse.
When their settlement is raided by those seeking the Chosen One, Charlotte makes a reckless decision to save Vanessa: she takes her place as prisoner.
The word spreads across the seven seas—the Chosen One has been found.
But when Dean’s life is threatened and a resistance looms on the horizon, the lie keeping Charlotte alive begins to unravel. She’ll have to break free, forge new bonds, and choose her own destiny if she has any hope of saving her sisters, her love, and maybe even the world.
Because sometimes the end is just a new beginning.
In this near-future dystopia with a largely female cast, humankind inadvertently unleashes the Crimson, a viruslike curse that causes the end of the world as it is known. Several years later, Charlotte feels invisible between her two sisters: older Harlow, the fierce military commander of the siblings' postapocalyptic Malibu community, and younger, athletically talented Vanessa, who is prophesied to be the Chosen One who will end the Crimson. Pretending to be the Chosen One herself to protect Vanessa, Charlotte begins to develop self-confidence and unravels a conspiracy behind the virus's spread. While fast-paced action and romantic tension make up the bulk of the story, and an incident of queer pain seems unnecessary, Blair deftly uses her dystopian framework to amplify issues of sexism, classism, and racism, as well as explore the tension between moral responsibility and survival. The Crimson lays bare many of this society's flaws, as the rich and powerful are able to escape its worst consequences at the expense of the vulnerable. Strengthened by a female protagonist whose insecurities ring true and whose growth is hard-won, this relevant adventure is sure to interest socially conscious fantasy fans. Ages 14 up.