Tuesday, November 18, 2014

YA Book Review: The Oxygen Factory, by Renée des Lauriers

General Information
Publisher: Sunbury Press, Inc.
Year of publication: 2014
# of chapters: 13
# of pages: (e-book)
Genre: Dystopian
Website: reneedeslauriers.blogspot.com

(I don't normally review YA novels, but I had the opportunity to work with the author in an earlier stage of her manuscript, and I was curious to see how her book had improved since then. Wow, I'm impressed!!)

Plot summary (from Amazon):
Breathe the air and die. Or worse, breathe and survive as one of the infected—blind, scarred, mangled, and stripped of everything but the hunger. Every day that Stella survives, scavenging through the buildings left standing, is another chance for the infected to kill her. If they can hear her, they know exactly where she is. If she stands still they can sniff her out. Fifteen years after the spread of the toxins, Stella was raised watching the infected hunt humans down. She told herself that it wasn’t ever going to happen to her.

Until one day, Stella finds a man washed up on the shore, from the Oxygen factory; the factory that ships out pills, which work its way into the lungs and pump oxygen throughout the body. He is part of the only organization working to keep humanity alive. Stella knows that to save him, will put her straight into danger. She’ll have to fight off more than just the infected to keep his secrets and keep him safe.

Positive Points
This book is set in New Jersey and New York City, and I'm familiar with both, so it was an interesting read. I could picture it in my mind very vividly.

I love how the point of view (POV) alternates between Stella and Gavin at each chapter, with one chapter in Xander's POV. This method is definitely better than shifting POVs mid-chapter, and it works well for this story.

Too many unanswered questions make me think there will be a sequel: Who is Gavin's brother, and did Stella recognize him? What will happen to her at the Oxygen factory? Who was this "nice man" who shipped the defective pills? Who tried to harm Gavin and why?

Stella and Gavin are likeable characters and their relationship felt real, made sense. They went through a lot together to escape all the dangers, risking their lives for each other. They naturally got closer, little by little. I can understand why they like each other. They are both unique in each other's worlds.

Negative Points
At times, the writing could have been stronger (a lot of "she could see" and "he could tell" structures that could have been written in a deeper POV). But this is a debut novel, and overall I'm impressed.

What makes this book unique
I don't normally read YA books, so I can't really compare it with other books in the same genre. But swallowing oxygen pills to be able to breathe seems pretty unique to me.

Overall Impression
If you like zombie stories, this is for you. I can tell this author has put a lot of work in her book. I'm looking forward to the sequel. ... There will be a sequel, right?

My Rating:

Thinking of purchasing this book? I'll make it easy for you:

1 comment:

S.A. Larsenッ said...

I love the looks and sounds of this one. I both read and write YA, so this works for me! So adding it to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing it.

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