“Fresh, compelling—and timely.” —Veronica Roth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Carve the Mark and the Divergent series
“Vividly conjured…positively chilling.” —The New York Times
Set in a near-future Taipei plagued by pollution, a group of teens risk everything to save their city in this thrilling novel from critically acclaimed author Cindy Pon.
Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.
With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.
Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?
In this SF thriller, adapted from a short story that appeared in the 2011 anthology Diverse Energies, teens struggle to survive in a pollution-choked Taipei, where the wealthy live in expensive environmental suits and everyone else risks sickness and early death. Jason Zhou, one of the have-nots, joins a group determined to infiltrate the rich and powerful in order to undermine Jin Corp and its monopoly on the protective suits. In Jason's undercover role, he grows close to his target, Jin Corp heiress Daiyu, but must avoid being seduced by power and privilege. But there's no time to waste with a deadly flu sweeping through the city. Pon's (Serpentine) dystopian setting is chilling but familiar it's a standard class warfare scenario as is the omnipresent, corrupt Jin corporation and the romance that brews between resourceful Jason and privileged-yet-rebellious Daiyu. The strength of Pon's story lies in the way it immerses readers in its gritty Taiwanese setting, and the emotional and cultural conflicts that arise as a result of this perspective. Ages 14 up.
READ IT JUST READ IT. IT IS SO MEANINGFUL AND BEAUTIFUL.