March 07, 2013

Surviving a post-Katrina, dystopian Gulf Coast

By Sherri L. Smith
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In Sherri L. Smith’s futuristic Orleans, six deadly hurricanes have followed Hurricane Katrina, each more devastating for the land and the people than the last. When an incurable sickness called Delta Fever follows, the Gulf Coast is quarantined and ultimately abandoned as the rest of the United States separates from the affected states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.

Twenty-five years later, the rest of the union believes that the Delta is dying; rather, a new society has formed, where bonds are forged and broken around blood type, and primitive tribes rule the land now called Orleans.

Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States, is determined to find a cure for Delta Fever, but the only way to test his hypothesis is to illegally sneak into the Delta. There he meets Fen, an O-Positive teenage girl who has been left with her tribe leader’s newborn baby after a deadly ambush.

In a moment of danger, Fen and Daniel make a deal: Daniel will take the baby over the wall to a better life before her blood becomes tainted in exchange for Fen’s guidance through the Delta. But what starts as a simple agreement becomes a deep alliance as Fen and Daniel fight for survival across the wasteland, encountering enemies and so-called friends alike as they learn they can trust no one but each other.

Sherri L. Smith, whose mother survived Hurricane Katrina, builds upon real New Orleans landmarks and history to create a feel of authenticity that will drive readers to keep reading until the very last page. Orleans is a heart-pumping meditation on the worst-case scenario in a region recently plagued by natural disasters, and thankfully, it’s fictional.

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By Sherri L. Smith
ISBN 9780399252945

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