By Jennifer Bosworth
Series: Struck #1
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: May 8, 2012
Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian
Purchase: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
I was drawn to both the cover and concept of Struck. I love post-apocalyptic dystopian worlds and I'm fascinated by lightening. In author Jennifer Bosworth’s world Los Angeles and other areas of the world have been struck with natural disasters. Experts are worried there will be more events, and religious zealots are crying end of times.
Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything. (synopsis from Goodreads)
We are introduced to Mia Price in the first line of the novel.”My name is Mia Price, and I am a human lightening rod.” She resides in LA with her mother and little brother. Mia and her family are lucky their home is still intact after a massive earthquake takes out large areas of LA. Everyone is hungry, people are homeless and Mia’s mother has had a breakdown. Her Mom sits in front of the TV watching an evangelist known as the Prophet. In order to get rations, she and her brother must return to school. Once there she is pressed by two groups of students to join their cult. Both groups believe Mia is the key to a cataclysmic event which is yet to come. Bosworth tale was unique and captivating.
Mia is a lightening addict or maybe lightening is addicted to her. Either way, she has the scars to prove it. She has survived countless strikes, and is drawn to storms, like bees to honey. Her family moved to LA, after a horrific lightening event. The recent disasters have left atmospheric hints of a storm to come. Mia can sense it and feels drawn to it. I easily connected with Mia and wanted to know more about her. Since the earthquake, she has really had to hold it together and I was impressed by her stiff upper lip. She is brave and protective. She doesn’t seek out conflict, but will fight when necessary. At times, I was annoyed with the character's inability to communicate…since a lot of crap could have been avoided with a straightforward conversation. Jeremy appears in one of Mia's classes. She has never met him, but is immediately aware of his presence and feels as if she knows him. She finds him to be gorgeous and mysterious. Oddly he makes her feel calm. He doesn’t appear to belong to either cult and tries to warn her. Jeremy’s true identity wasn’t revealed until almost the end. Bosworth did leave clues throughout the novel and I managed to figure it out but I was never really sure if he was helping her or had a secret agenda. All of which made this tale suspenseful. The romance between them was sweet and downright complicated. The energy I felt when the two of them were together made me swoon. Other characters added to the suspense and mystery. I loved some of them and loathed others.
Bosworth’s world-building enthralled me. She did a wonderful job of depicting the city and its people after the quake. Her descriptions of the city of tents, the chaos and fear made the world very real. The Prophet and his followers were believable. He has predicted the end is near and urges people to join him and repent. Throughout the novel you get a sense that he is evil. The Seekers are an old and secret society. They appear to be trying to stop a cataclysmic event from occurring. It has been foretold and they are looking for others to make their psychic connections stronger. Bosworth’s tale of their origin and purposes was fascinating. She weaves tarot cards and paranormal ability into the tale creating mystery. Mia is the catalyst for an event yet to come and is sought by both sides. Not knowing the true purpose of each cult and why they wanted Mia made the ride suspenseful. The tale was fast-paced and Bosworth’s writing style brought the story to life. While the tale was good I wanted more depth and would have like more about the lightening aspect.
Struck will interest fans of post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels. This was an an easy read. It didn't deliver everything I hoped for but I will check out book two. There is a novella, called Prophet (Struck 0.5) which is currently available.
I gave this novel 3 coffee cups out 5.