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review 2016-08-12 02:12
Concealed (Virus #1) - R.J. Crayton
Concealed (Virus Book 1) - RJ Crayton

Concealed is the first volume in a dystopian YA series about a virus that has turned the world upside down.

Elaan Woodson is a lucky girl. The Helnoan virus has infected most of the population. Almost everyone who contracts the disease dies from it, although some recover -- and a handful, like Elaan, appear to have a natural immunity. In addition to her immunity, she is also the daughter of a scientist who's working on a cure for the virus, and because of that, she, her brother Lijah, and her father are living in the underground bunker where her father's lab is located. Lijah is a survivor -- as is Josh Wells, the only other teenager in the compound. Elaan and Josh are obviously headed for romance, but Lijah keeps warning her away from him. Lijah says Josh has a secret that will hurt Elaan, but then Lijah has a big secret of his own. And the most important secret is the one Josh's father is keeping from all of them -- one that might cost Elaan her life.

Crayton spends a lot of time in this book developing her main characters and the setting. We learn a lot about Elaan's daily life, and about how the underground facility operates, including the behind-the-scenes machinations like management hierarchies and gossip. The plot, however, takes a while to get going. I found myself wishing somebody would just break down and tell Elaan something already, so the story could move along. Things do finally accelerate, but the action doesn't pick up until near the end of the book.

Crayton is a fine writer, and her topic is certainly timely. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series. Recommended for those who enjoy YA science fiction.

Source: www.rursdayreads.com/2016/08/concealed-virus-1-rj-crayton.html
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review 2014-01-19 09:26
Life First- R.J. Crayton

This is a very well written fiction story that adds interesting fuel to the debate between those that support the `rights' of the individual and those that put the rights of community ahead of those of the individuals. Should the individual be expected to suffer, even to risk life, for a common good? Should we all, ultimately, be conscript soldiers of society?
The principle character is fascinating, complex, and totally credible. Whether she is actually a hero, a coward, or a genuine conscientious objector, each of us has to decide for ourselves. For me Kelsey was a mix of all three, just as most of us would probably be, depending on the degree and type of cultural indoctrination we had experienced.
The only flaw of the plot was for me the over close relationships of all the principle characters in Kelsey vs The State. This tightness helped drive the intensity of the drama, but it all proved to strain my buy in to its plausibility. Wouldn't the prosecution have ripped the defence case apart even more effectively than it did as a consequence of the degree of nepotism? I think so.
This is a really good read and an excellent affirmation of competence amongst independent writers. We should all be grateful that the fall of old-publishing through the rise of the net has allowed writers like Crayton to be heard.

PS The cover shown was the one when I read this book. It was far more appropriate to this book than the generic/attractive female face on the cover now showing. I assume the change has come out of a misguided attempt to follow paperback cover fashion. Such a sad reflection of such good content. The below is seemingly now the cover to look out for-

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Life-First-RJ-Crayton-ebook/dp/B00DFNWFX4

 

 

 

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