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Blight

Review

Blight

Alexandra Duncan is a YA Science Fiction writer and librarian. BLIGHT is her third novel; her first two novels, SALVAGE and SOUND, were released in 2014 and 2015. BLIGHT, which is described as a “near-future eco thriller” follows Tempest Torres, a headstrong security officer for an agricultural conglomerate organization known as AgraStar. In a time when a few large corporations control the growth of food, Tempest must fight for her morals, position, and life.

"BLIGHT was action-packed the whole way, there was not much world building, and it was comfortable to follow. It is sort of science fiction for readers who aren’t used to science fiction."

Tempest Torres lived up to her name, fighting enemies, protecting her friends, and doing what she thought was right. In a lot of ways, she was misguided by her upbringing, but she still was able to move forward and be her own person. At the age of five, AgraStar found her and her father, “shirks,” who scavenged the land for food without being a part of any official organization. AgraStar killed her father and took her in, raising her, and eventually given the option of how she wanted to “repay” her debt to them. Having chosen to be a part of the security force, she regularly went on missions for AgraStar that she had even begun to believe in.

At the beginning of BLIGHT, I thought that the story was going to follow Tempest living at the AgraStar facility, maybe doing some interesting security force missions and finding a guy she liked. I turned out to be very, very wrong. While Tempest is out on a mission, she has a run in with a group of scavengers and witnesses a blight that kills all of the crops for miles, including at the facility where she lived. This was a shock to the plot because this world seemed to rely on the survival of those crops. With the book taking a different turn than I had initially expected, I was pleasantly surprised by the direction it took. This eerie futuristic world engrossed me, and it contains many parallels to what today’s Earth could eventually develop into.

BLIGHT was action-packed the whole way, there was not much world building, and it was comfortable to follow. It is sort of science fiction for readers who aren’t used to science fiction. I enjoyed the action in this novel, and it has a whirlwind of a plot. I think Duncan did an excellent job crafting an intriguing world that readers can immerse themselves in. Tempest and all of the characters that she runs into along the way add more and more complication to the story.

I recommend BLIGHT to readers looking to take a dip in YA science fiction or who are looking for a shakeup from their usual read. Tempest is sure to surprise you and frustrate you along the way, and you will have fun reading BLIGHT.

Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member on August 18, 2017

Blight
by Alexandra Duncan