“In this debut novel, a new world power targets a woman with rare abilities.
Denver emergency room nurse Valerie Russell is shocked by her appearance one morning: The 35-year-old now looks 20. With no time to ponder the phenomenon, she leaves for a 12-hour shift at a facility two hours away. Upon her arrival, her car suddenly dies and Valerie passes out. After regaining consciousness, she guides others, who have passed out as well, to the facility. According to reports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims an electric surge has affected people globally and wants to see those who have lost consciousness for “observation.” But Valerie’s greatest concern is her 2-year-old son, Caleb, back at home with the nanny (Valerie’s husband, Scott, is at work). Meanwhile, her father, Mike Burton, has answers to what’s transpiring. Some people have a no-longer-dormant gene that allows them to absorb electricity. Valerie belongs to a more elite group with powers capable of much more. While she races to find Caleb and Scott, formidable individuals, having anticipated the gene’s awakening, want her for her abilities. Their purpose is sinister: mass genocide of those not carrying the gene. In this first installment of a sci-fi trilogy, the plot’s extraordinary event is worldwide, but Arnold wisely concentrates on Valerie in the U.S. There are hints of others who share her gifts, which open avenues for the series to explore later. Valerie is an exceptional protagonist: She has survivalist skills (courtesy of Mike) and shrewdly distrusts people, including reputed friends of her father. The story’s villain is likewise sharply defined. The CDC initially appears nefarious before one individual becomes the unmitigated baddie. Though the author’s near-breakneck pace is exhilarating, it doesn’t leave much room for standout supporting characters, like Valerie’s resilient female ally Hyka Major. But that’s something the forthcoming volumes could easily rectify—and something for readers to look forward to.
A commendable sci-fi series launch spearheaded by a remarkable heroine.”
“It seems to me Dacia is only at the beginning of a long, prolific career, and I’m certain she’ll have bragging rights to many more accomplishments. I’m also certain she’ll save the world at some point, but in the meantime, she’s already made a big difference in the worlds of so many.”
“For all the adults devouring the pages of popular Young Adult dystopia, get ready for a protagonist you can relate to. “
“I found it really cool that Arnold is focusing her apocalypse around what would happen if humans could no longer count on technology or electricity. Everything from cars, to planes to phones and medical equipment go haywire once things start to go down. It’s a not a scenario I’ve seen much and it’s refreshing to see one that doesn’t involve zombies or diseases these days.”
“I’m not usually a big fan of sci-fi but I do love a good dystopian book, and this was it. The story is original, the characters are well developed (even though there are a lot of them to start with and it can be confusing) and I loved the ending. It was really intense and climactic and as I got closer and closer to the end, I kept asking myself ‘how is this going to be resolved?!'”
“Arnold’s first book in a planned “Diazem Trilogy” gives us a story with echoes of Robert J. Sawyer’s Flashforward and Naomi Alderman’s The Power.”