REVIEW OF TELL THE WIND AND FIRE BY SARAH REES BRENNAN (5 stars on Goodreads)
If A TALE OF TWO CITIES married ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, their offspring might resemble TELL THE WIND AND FIRE. This is a dramatic, emotionally evocative, finely drawn story of love, rebellion, and redemption set in a New York City of a distant, alternative future.
The city has been divided between the haves and have nots, and magic is more important even than technology on both sides of the divide. The aristocrats and governing Committee live in the luxurious City of Light, while on the other side of a Berlin-like wall the residents of the Dark City live such a hopeless existence that they are colloquially called “the buried.”
In this mesmerizing story line, a girl of Light, who has lost her mother to the Dark, is totally devoted to her boyfriend, also of the Light, who also lost his mother – but that happened in childbirth. In order to save the baby boy’s life when it appeared the mother would not survive his difficult delivery, the boy’s aristocratic family secretly broke the cardinal law of their society: they created a doppelganger. The doppelganger was supposed to be killed immediately, but instead was sent to be “buried” in the Dark City, hopefully never to be seen or heard from again.
Doppelgangers are supposed to be soulless, evil, totally without scruples, having absorbed all the dark magic that would have otherwise conquered the original person.
Our heroine soon finds herself and her loved ones caught in the middle of a violent, deadly political revolution – at the same time her boyfriend’s doppelganger shows up and steps into the boyfriend’s life (and hers), apparently with evil purpose.
The leading characters all have their flaws, their secrets, their loves, and their faint hope of redemption. The author has created people and environments that surround and engage the reader. No matter how much Light magic and Dark magic are thrown about during the conflict, the final victory or defeat arises from the depths of the hearts of the three principle characters.
Hard to put down. Great fun for sci-fi fans. Free of profanity, explicit sex, and gratuitous gore. (Yay!)