Saturday, May 9, 2009

Exodus by Julie Bertagna

Exodus Exodus
by Julie Bertagna

April 1st 2008 (first published 2002)
by Walker Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 352 pages
0802797458 (isbn13: 9780802797452)

 rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Once upon a time there was a world. . .a world full of miracles.”
 
Mara Bell is fifteen years old and the exact image of her grandmother Mary. She lives on Wing, an island in the northern part of an Earth nearly drowned by the melting of the polar ice caps.  The waters are continuing to rise, and Mara must trust the instincts she inherited from the strong women in her family.  She convinces her neighbors to flee the island for refuge in one of the sky cities, the tall feats of technology so high as to be safe from the storms and rising waters.  When they reach the nearest city, however, they are barred from entering and treated like so much refuse that is expelled from the white city itself.  Mara has to risk everything to save her people and the other refugees, and possibly fulfill a prophecy.  And the waters continue to rise.

The cover of the copy of Exodus that I got from the library there is a quote from The Guardian: “A miracle of a novel. . .a book you will remember for the rest of your life.”  I’m a theologian.  Floods and Exodus.  I remember another book with these phrases that have shaped my life.  I didn’t think another could.

I was wrong.  There is so much original, so much beautiful, so much of heartrending genius in this novel.  The plot moves quickly and effortlessly, there’s action and science-fiction and myth (Joseph Campbell style) and romance.  The best I can tell you is to run, run, run and read it yourself.

Read this book.  You’ll not be sorry.  Your heart and your head will reconnect with our own world of miracles.

11 comments:

  1. I haven't heard of this one but it sounds amazing! It just got put on my library list! Thanks!

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  2. Jeez, you read a lot of books! Haha, this one sounds amazing!

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  3. Will definitely look out for this one! Thanks for the heads up!

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  4. This book sunds interesting. If I see it, I'll pick it up.

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  5. You must read the sequel, too, Aerin (Zenith).

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  6. Okay, I will add this to my list of books to look up!

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  7. I read the first chapter several weeks ago, got distracted, and never picked it up again. I'll give it another chance now!

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  8. (thought I'd posted before, but it looks like it didn't go through)

    Anyway...

    You've got to quit posting reviews!!! I am running out of money to buy books! :)

    This one sounds wonderful--it's going on my list of books I want.

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  9. Wow, that sounds great. What an interesting premise!

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  10. You know to be honest I'd probably pass this up at first glance. However, I'm in serious need of a beautifully written novel and I think you've just helped! Thanks Aerin. =)

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  11. Exodus is set in the year 2099, when the Earth has all but drowned and only a few islands remain habitable. Mara is confined to her fast-disappearing island home of Wing, which is ravaged by fierce storms and an ever-dwindling supply of food, and where every night she escapes into a virtual world known as the Weave. One night, she discovers ‘proof’ of the mythical Sky Cities – entire cities that rose into the sky and kept their inhabitants safe from the flooded world below – and sets about convincing everyone of their existence, keeping secret the fact that she only discovered their existence from a talking fox, who may or may not be an enemy… She convinces the community to set sail on a terrifyingly dangerous journey to find these Sky Cities; but what will they find there?

    I really wasn’t sure about this book at first – the blurb made it sound a teensy bit corny and when I started reading it, there wasn’t much of a story (in fact, the story doesn’t really kick off until about 75 pages to the end) and the present tense in which it is written takes a bit of getting used to – but I was intrigued by this incredibly detailed future that Bertagna had created and was interested to know what would happen when the story did kick off; and boy, am I glad I did! Not to say that there was no story before the ‘pick up the pace’ point – the book was beautifully written throughout and those pages were quite vital to the plot of the story, as well as essential in making connections with the characters in the book.

    The characters are all really well developed and you genuinely care about them when horrible things happen to them. You also really feel for them and their situation – after all, the book in set just 90 years away, in a world that struggles to survive because of extreme flooding; a world that is frighteningly likely to happen and it could be our great-grandchildren that live in the nightmare-world, making it an eye-opening, powerful read.

    An exceedingly beautifully written and thought-provoking read. I cannot wait to read the rest of the trilogy!

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