City of Beasts

Freeform. Sept. 2019. 384p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781368026628.
Gr 10 Up–In a postapocalyptic Western New York, women (fees) live on Grand Island and men (beasts) in Buffalo, separated not only by a river, but also by fear and desire for power. Glori and her family hide a dangerous secret that threatens them all—a little brother she adores, born of a horrific incident that has left her mother without a voice. When he is kidnapped by the beasts, Glori and her best friend do the forbidden by crossing the river to find him. Raised to hate and fight against beasts, they are leery of men in general, but if they don’t trust the ones who truly want to help, finding Two Five will be impossible. Wang creates believable young characters who, while products of their elders and environments, learn to trust themselves and each other to forge a meaningful path toward a peaceful partnership, both during the events of the story and in their shared future. Explicit violence, language, and sexual references make this exploration of gender relations and survival behavior a better fit for mature readers.
VERDICT Readers who enjoy the fast-paced desperation of Jay Kristoff’s “Lifelike” series and Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now will appreciate the pulse-pounding intensity of this thriller.

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