In Emerge: Six years ago, a highly contagious virus wiped out more than ninety-nine percent of the country’s population. The only person to contract the virus and survive, Cricket fled her identity and the safety of New Caelum, an airtight city. Now eighteen, she watches the city where the wealthy cocooned from the devastating outbreak. When the city’s rumbling incinerator wakes her one night while she and her friends are camping just beyond the city walls, she alone knows what the fiery machine means: the lethal virus is back.
Only eighteen, Westlin Layne is already being groomed to succeed his mother as New Caelum’s next president. Suddenly West’s sister develops symptoms of the deadly virus thought to be eradicated years ago. Placed under quarantine, the president confesses to West a long-held secret: Christina Black, West’s childhood friend and first love, survived the virus, and her body alone holds the precious antibodies to save his sister. Now West must leave the city to find Christina. But Cricket has no intention of being found. – Goodreads
A Young Adult Dystopian novel, Emerge introduces you to a world where most of the population was wiped out by a deadly airborne virus. Some locked themselves in an airtight city, welcoming only the best and brightest to a place where they controlled everything. It was the only place that was safe. Across the board, if you caught the virus, you died. Until… someone didn’t. Christina Black caught the virus, and survived. She survived, and she ran from New Caelum to join the world outside. But she didn’t go far. Maybe she knew that the city couldn’t stay safe forever. When the incinerators started to burn at night, she knew the virus was back. It didn’t make any sense, but it was irrefutable. Soon Christina – Cricket – finds herself in a race against time and against some of the ruling powers of New Caelum.
Emerge was interesting. Technically there was a love triangle, but not really. It was made pretty clear early on that one side of that triangle only existed in one person’s mind. It was handled fairly well, all things considered. Still, essentially it was just another young adult dystopian novel that has been deep-fried in unnecessary romance. Wasn’t as bad as it could have been, true, but it could have been so much better. West, her paramour, is essentially Prince Charming trapped in a crappy situation, and doing whatever needs done to save his sister’s life. He doesn’t understand at first that he’s being heavily manipulated, but Christina sees it almost instantly. She sees it, and she wants to save him from it. She wants to give him a chance. It was kind of sweet, actually.
Its only been a few days since I read this novel, and already I don’t remember many details. Christina is smart, strong-willed, and determined to do the right thing. West is someone who wants to save the world and believe the best in people – even when it’s obvious he should know better by now. Christina’s best friend is… well, honestly he’s a bit piece that almost instantly fades from your mind when he’s not specifically in a scene. West’s mom is a somewhat interesting character. You can tell she means well for her ‘subjects’, and that she genuinely loves her kids. Doesn’t stop her from using West for her own purposes, but she does love him. The bad guy in Emerge doesn’t really strike me as truly bad as much as he does an arrogant toerag.
The most interesting thing about Emerge is the fact that it takes place in the midst of an unusual play for power. The sort not often seen in these novels. This is a book where it’s not the poor versus the rich, but instead between powerful players that are almost on a equal ground. Overall, Emerge wasn’t a bad read, and for those who love to gorge themselves on these dystopian novels, it’s probably a nice change of pace.
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