Saturday, August 8, 2015

Kalahari by Jessica Khoury

Series: Corpus (bk. 3)

Genera(s): Sci-fi Thriller

Subjects: experiments, animals, scientists, deserts, mystery, survival, adventure

Setting: The Kalahari semi-desert in Botswana, Africa

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, past tense: Sarah

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 354 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Penguin: Razorbill

Summary/ product description: “Deep in the Kalahari Desert, a Corpus lab protects a dangerous secret…

But what happens when that secret takes on a life of its own?

When an educational safari goes wrong, five teens find themselves stranded in the Kalahari Desert without a guide. It’s up to Sarah, the daughter of zoologists, to keep them alive and lead them to safety, calling on survival know-how from years of growing up in remote and exotic locales. Battling dehydration, starvation and the pangs of first love, she does her best to hold it together, even as their circumstances grow increasingly desperate.

But soon a terrifying encounter makes Sarah question everything she’s ever known about the natural world. A silver lion, as though made of mercury, makes a vicious, unprovoked attack on the group. After a narrow escape, they uncover the chilling truth behind the lion’s silver sheen: a highly contagious and deadly virus that threatens to ravage the entire area—and eliminate life as they know it.

In this breathtaking new novel by the acclaimed author of Origin and Vitro, Sarah and the others must not only outrun the virus, but its creators, who will stop at nothing to wipe every trace of it.”

My Review: Kalahari is the third (and final or not final?) book in the Corpus series, a companion to Origin and Vitro. I’m not sure if this is happening at the same time or after those books. There are no shared characters, but Strauss was mentioned once. Sarah and her father live in the Kalahari. Her father is a zoologist originally from New Zealand, and is studying the migration of animals. Sarah’s mother died four month ago in an accident, and she was from North Carolina originally.

Five teens arrive at their camp for a week of learning about wildlife and the ways of the Kalahari. All the fun is pushed aside when Sarah’s father and half-bushman Theo go off to get the location of poacher hunting a white lion. They don’t return by nightfall and the next morning Sarah takes the teens in search of her father, who may be dead by now. They come upon a metallic lion and can’t believe their eyes. Lots of struggles happen. Surviving this semi-desert is not easy, and thankfully Theo taught Sarah the ways of the Bushmen.

I have never read a book with a setting like this before! Not many books I’ve read have even been in Africa, and none in southern Africa. Instantly it reminded me on Zoo, the TV show based off the James Patterson book of the same name. It also made me think of Inhuman by Kat Fall, a book I recently read about a virus that turn people into animal. This virus/infection spreads by touch and turns animals and people into metal (not normal metal. It’s not like King Midas’s touch). This is like those adventure movies where there’s something mysterious going on. Movies like the Mummy or Indiana Jones or the Ruins.

The characters were pretty interesting. Sarah, our narrator, was kind of awkward and not used to being around people her age. Sam was helpful and protective, and her love interest. Miranda and Kase, both from Boston, were together and kind of rich and spoiled and not used to the wild. They complained a lot. Kase is a photographer, and he brought Miranda along. Joey is an Asian guy from California whose always joking around. Avani is half-Indian, half-Kenyan and Canadian. She very book smart and likes to study and really prepared for this trip. I like it when there are not so many characters that you get confused. The adult characters are less developed, but add to the story.

I’d recommend this book series to fans of Unremembered, Maximum Ride, Altered by Jennifer Rush, The Rules by Stacy Kade and other books about when science goes wrong. Also, if you like foreign settings or you just love animal, you’ll enjoy this.

Cover Art Review: These new cover for this series are not that compelling. Though, this cover does show an African landscape. But in the book Sarah said there were no rocks, only sand and here I see boulders or a rocky ridge.

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