Friday, 16 August 2013

Book Review: Tent City by Kelly Van Hull

After a devastating plague, introverted 17-year-old Dani Campbell and her family find themselves living in a very different America, one run by a cult-like leader, who forces children to move to "safety camps" designed to protect the human race. Encouraged to flee by her parents, Dani and her five-year-old brother seek refuge in the Black Hills of South Dakota. On the run with danger around every corner, Dani must fight to ensure their survival in this new world while trying to unmask the mystery of how it all came to be.

*I received this book from the author through the Paranormal, Fantasy, Dystopia and Romance Readers, Writers and Reviewers Group in exchange for an honest review*

The Government has decided that all children are to be taken from their parents and put into safety camps. Dani's parents tell her to take her brother younger Brody and head to their cabin in the mountains to hide. On arrival they find the area has been turned into a camp full of kids who are hiding as well. But is the camp really the safest place to be?

I liked the plot idea for this book and was very keen to read it. The idea of kids having to run away and fend for themselves while being hunted by the evil government is the kind of book I go looking for, and this book did not disappoint. First we have the trek to the hills, then the life in Tent City, and then the author surprised me by taking the book in a different direction as it sets up book 2. Interesting! I liked the start and the last third of the book a lot, and though I did find the middle a little slow at times, it didn't detract from the story.

The author introduces a handful of interesting characters that form the main story. I liked Jack and Callie the best though Kit did grow on me from the airhead she is at the start. I admit that I found Dani pretty annoying. When Jack helps them early in the book, her attitude is thanks-now-get-lost. She is rude and demanding. In the camp she stamps her foot every time someone disagrees with her or she doesn't get her own way. These people have given you food, medicine, a place to stay and broke their own rules to let Brody stay yet all she can do is yell that they won't tell her all their secrets and expect her to pull her weight and share her resources with them. I really wanted to slap her and tell her to grow up! This is a secret camp and they are not going to tell strangers their secrets until you earn their trust. She is also reckless, running into the woods where there are rabid animals and bears every time she has another sulk, and constantly leaving her brother with other people who she then blames when something goes wrong. However, my dislike of her did not actually spoil the story so I just rolled my eyes and read on. She does get better by the end so hopefully she won't be so annoying in book 2!

Complaints? Nothing big. A little slow when we are introduced to the camp but that is to be expected. The further you get into the book, the more interesting it gets. The love triangle was also interesting but it was spoiled a bit by Dani's sulks and the fact that she kept picking fights over nothing with both guys. Why they both wanted her was a mystery to me at times! But despite the niggles, I still intend to read book 2 to see what happens next.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

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