YA Dystopian (Sci-Fi)
Date Published: July 30, 2015
Fifteen-year-old Alexandra Spencer’s life was not supposed to turn out this way. She was not supposed to go on trial for a crime she did not commit. She was not supposed to be found guilty. And she was not supposed to be sent to Elder Grey Detention Centre, a place of horrors many don’t survive.
She is however, supposed to be the daughter of the wealthiest, most influential man in the post-apocalyptic city of New Phoenix.
But apparently, she isn’t.
As Alex struggles to cope with her new life in Elder Grey, an act of friendship ends in tragedy. When someone she thought was an enemy pulls her from her despair, Alex discovers that old friends cannot be trusted, prejudice is another word for fear, and trust, not blood ties, make a family.
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Hayley Barrett began writing in the aftermath of the devastating Christchurch earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 as a way of escaping from the ongoing terror of the natural disaster. She spends a little time each day writing and can often be found at her local library wearing headphones and with a lap top attached to her hands.
Hayley lives in Rolleston, ten minutes south of Christchurch, New Zealand, with her husband and three children. When she isn’t driving her kids to their sports practices, games and other after school activities, she enjoys playing squash, relaxing in the sun and reading. Most days she wishes there were more hours available to spend writing.
Alexandra, Alex, is the spoiled daughter of a judge. She is falsely accused of a minor crime and sentences to one year in Elder Grey, a harsh prison. Alex has to survive the three week journey to Elder Grey through the New Zealand bush, but can she can’t rely on her guards to keep her safe. Then when she gets to Elder Grey she has to survive those that know that her father sent them to prison.
I really liked this world. You do have the usual apocalypse, corrupt government, and people getting in trouble for fighting for the truth. I have to say that although Alex rubbed me the wrong way in the beginning it was because of growing up privileged. Once she got out in the bush and the prison she wised up and really grew. But I especially liked how there were no good and no bad people. Everyone was realistic and walked in the grey zone between the black and white.
My only complaint is that the book felt rushed in some spots. There are a couple clues about Alex and her past but they really were not expanded upon. I think if the book was a touch longer it would have made the story feel more complete.
Having said that, I really liked Into Darkness. It’s a great young adult dystopian story. I can’t wait to read other books by Hayley Barrett.
I received this book for free from Reading Addiction Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
From Chapter 13
His mouth was tight with tension and there were dark circles beneath his eyes. He was worried. And most likely disappointed in me for bringing banned items into Elder Grey. I didn’t want to feel his displeasure. So I said the first thing that came to my head. “Hungry.”
Will released my hand, much to my frustration, and took a plate from the small fridge. When he returned, I was trying to sit up without straining the wounds on my back.
He handed me the food and a glass of strawberry milk, and I tucked in immediately. “This is better than anything I’ve had since I arrived,” I said between mouthfuls. I hadn’t realised quite how hungry I was.
“Guards’ food.” Will ran a hand through hair that was messy from sleep. On his face was a smile that didn’t reach his eyes, and the muscles in his jaw strained. I wasn’t fooled.
Putting my plate to the side, I looked him in the eye. “I’m fine, Will.”
“No, Princess. Fine is about the furthest thing from what you are.” He was angry. But not at me. “Show me.”
I stared at him in disbelief. Marcus hadn’t cared enough to see. But Will, looking very much like it was his back wracked with pain, had asked. Words couldn’t express how much that single request meant to me. I rolled my overalls down my back, showing him my wounds.
Will inhaled loudly. I quickly covered myself and turned to him. He was working hard to keep his face neutral, but his shoulders were rigid and his fists clenched.
“Will. It’s alright.” I reached out and covered his hand with my own. “I’ve been up, walking around. I went out to the courtyard today.” My voice was bright; I needed him to believe me.
“And we know how that ended.” Fury and sympathy battled for dominance on his face.
Why was it that I felt like crying when he looked at me like that? I’d been fine with Cassidy and Rich earlier, and with Marcus. They believed me when I said I was doing okay. In fact, Marcus hardly seemed to realise there was anything wrong with me at all.
“I’m fine,” I whispered, pulling my hand away and blinking back tears. “You should probably go.”