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Last Star Burning
Contributor(s): Sangster, Caitlin
ISBN: 1481486136     ISBN-13: 9781481486132
Publisher: Simon Pulse
    OUR PRICE: $17.09  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: October 2017
Qty:
Annotation: After she escapes execution for a crime she didn't commit by running from her city into the wilderness, Sev is forced to trust the chairman of the government's son, Howl, but suspects that he knows more about her past than he is letting on.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Epidemics; Fiction.
Fugitives from justice; Fiction.
Survival; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2016046285
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 9.00" H x 6.00" W x 1.75" (1.20 lbs) 396 pages
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 September #1)

The people of the City are beset by encephalitis lethargica—sleeping sickness—and drug-resistant strains are cropping up. The symptoms can be violent, but 16-year-old Jiang Sev, who is infected, places her trust in the City. Years ago, Sev's mother betrayed the City, infecting Sev with the disease, and now lies in stasis, on display above the Traitor's Arch, leaving Sev branded and diminished in status. When Sev is blamed for a bombing, she and a secretive boy named Howl wind up on the run. Howl insists that answers lie at a far-off mountain, but the journey is dangerous, and the promise of safety may only be an illusion. Loosely inspired by China's Cultural Revolution, Sangster's vibrant debut is set in a world where class and status define its citizens; some genuinely surprising twists highlight Sev's struggle to accept a reality vastly different from what she has known. Her candid voice propels the tense narrative to a conclusion that leaves no question where Sev's convictions and loyalties lie and sets up the next chapter in her journey. Ages 12–up. Agent: Victoria Wells Arms, Wells Arms Literary. (Oct.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 September)

Gr 6 Up—Game piece soldiers placed on a weiqui board provide a foreshadowing of the plot twists to come in this novel. Jiang Sev, of the First Class, has been demoted to the Fourth Class because of her traitor mother. The demotion has not dimmed the devotion of Sev's Second Class friend, Tai-ge, whose family is tasked with "reeducating" Sev. Heavily influenced by the author's experiences in China, this dystopian fantasy features a strong 16-year-old character who must navigate a world in which city leaders drop bombs on the lower classes while blaming the explosions on a nearby country. As Sev leaves the safety of the walls to face the Outside with the help of the chairman's son, Howl, she begins to uncover the true nature of the city's leadership, and that the rebels within the Mountain have their own agenda—one masterminded by a brilliant double agent and former colleague of Sev's mother. Sangster does a masterful job of world-building, and takes the time to develop characters and a plot that twists in on itself multiple times. As with Sev, readers are dribbled clues that clearly point to more diabolical machinations on both sides. The backdrop of vicious creatures coupled with adventures in which survival is not always assured will keep patient readers engaged. The cliff-hanger ending guarantees a sequel in the offing, and the action-packed, adventurous prose makes it appropriate for younger teens. VERDICT Give to fans of Leigh Bardugo's "Six of Crows" series and Sabaa Tahir's "Ember in the Ashes" trilogy.—Jodeana Kruse, R.A. Long High School, Longview, WA

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.