Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Release Book Review: Kalahari

Title: Kalahari
Author: Jessica Khoury
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: Science fiction
Pages: 368
Age Rating: Readers over 13
My Opinion: 7/10

Hi, Readers!

       I guess I've been in a Jessica Khoury mood lately, and I decided to read the last published book in the Corpus series, Kalahari.  After loving book one, Origin, and feeling disheartened by book two, Vitro, I was glad to find that Kalahari was almost as good as the first Corpus novel.  It had a slow start, but by the end of the novel, I was hanging on to every word that Khoury wrote.

Kalahari       Sarah lives in the middle of the Kalahari Desert in Africa with her father and a bushman guide.  The three have been doing scientific research there for as long as Sarah can remember, and she has had little contact with the outside world.  When the group runs short on research funds, they agree to host five teenagers at their campsite in exchange for extra funding.  However, they have no idea that these teens are completely inexperienced in the wilderness and are used to luxury accommodations.  When Sarah's dad mysteriously goes missing one night, she embarks on a journey with the teenagers to find him.  Along the way, she begins to discover some mysterious clues, including a silver lion.  Instead of finding her father, she begins to find something much more dangerous.  Faced with difficult life-or-death decisions, Sarah must lead this group of teens safely through the Kalahari, find her father, and solve the puzzling mystery she has unearthed.

       When the novel began, I was not a big fan of Sarah as a character.  She is clueless when it comes to social interaction, and her idea of fun is seeing who can throw monkey pellets the farthest.  Yawn.  However, by the end of the story, although she doesn't seem like the coolest teenager around, she demonstrates admirable bravery and determination, and she is a strong role model for younger readers.

The Kalahari Desert
       One of my favorite parts about Khoury's writing style is that she is not afraid to kill off characters.  I had absolutely no idea who would survive or die throughout Sarah's adventure through the desert, which made me want to read on and on.  Also, Khoury did an excellent job including the perfect amount of romance in the novel - not too little but not too much.  Kalahari was mostly action-packed, but there were a few sweet scenes between Sarah and one of the teen visitors that made her more relatable.

       On the other hand, in my opinion, the plot line of Kalahari was a bit far-fetched, even for a science fiction novel.  There was not enough background information about the setting or about the science, and it left me questioning the plausibility, even in an alternate world, of the adventure happening.

       All in all, Kalahari is the second best book in the series for sure.  There is no beating Origin, but it wasn't hard to surpass Vitro.  My suggestion to you, readers, is to read Origin, skip Vitro, and only pick up Kalahari if you have a lot of extra time to read a pretty good book.

Happy reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments! Feel free to ask questions or say whatever is on your mind.