Monday, February 10, 2014

Review: The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil. 

The lush city of Palmares Três shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that’s sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June’s best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.

Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Três will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government’s strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.

Recommended by the NPR Book Concierge, this fell into the YA and Science Fiction and Fantasy Categories... with that cover.. I t was hard to say no, especially in light of NPR's review "Samba, Spiderbots and 'Summer' Love in Far-Future Brazil": 

"And how deliciously unusual to read a YA dystopia that's comfortable with ambiguity and nuance. This is a book that doesn't condescend."

Originality10.  So unique, from the social class, to the characters and the story telling. 

Absurdity: 2.  For some reason this never felt absurd, the story was so well told and smooth, no clunky plot twists and mostly relatable teen-age angst.

Level of Paranormal Romance: 9.  The love of the summer king drives this story. June's love, Gil's love, and the city's love.  It is steamy and unconventional and perfect for the story. Best of all- there is not fated-insta love.

Level of Harry-Potter-ness:  8.  This was a complex story that zipped right along, and while there are many futuristic distopias out there, Palmares Tres felt believable and otherworldly.  Read this book, you will not be dissapointed! Definately a caliber above many of the YA books out there.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a really good one. I haven't read it yet, but always love originality in it's genre, which can be a hard thing. Glad you enjoyed it! :)

    Kirsty @ StudioReads


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