Stranger, by Rachel Manija Brown & Sherwood Smith (book review) – humanity has changed, or has it?

book cover of Stranger by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith published by VikingAfter the Change killed electricity,
unrooted societies, mutated many life forms,
Los Angeles survived as walled Las Anclas –
but will one teenage prospector doom them all?

This fast-moving dystopian tale with 5 narrators includes semi-sentient plants (so very deadly), Changed humans with amazing talents, unChanged ones who accept them, and those who don’t. A diverse cast of characters, families of all configurations, several love stories, and a madman, too.

Read chapter one here as Ross tries to reach Las Anclas alive, then get Stranger today at your local library or independent bookstore.

Don’t wait till the November 2015 paperback release – you must discover the secrets of Las Anclas now for yourself!


Book info: Stranger (Change, book 1) / Rachel Manija Brown & Sherwood Smith. Viking Children’s Books, 2014. [Rachel’s site]   [Sherwood’s site]  [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: When a strange young man collapses outside Las Anclas, its citizens must decide whether to share their secrets with him or become targets of the madman pursuing him.

Ross knows that the book he uncovered holds information about lost technologies, if only he could read it, if only he can escape Voske’s bounty hunter through the ever-hostile desert.

Felicite plans to become powerful in Las Anclas, strategizing and smiling as her political parents do, praying that no one discovers her secrets.

Yuki survived shipwreck to land in LA as a child, but the prince of a distant land wants only to leave the walled town as a prospector, as long as Paco comes along.

Mia would rather solve mechanical problems than train with the militia, but the youngest Engineer in town history wonders if she’ll ever fall in love or care if she doesn’t.

Jennie took over the schoolroom when their teacher’s Change power became too dangerous, but her fighting skills as a Ranger are also needed by the town – will she have to choose?

These five teens have the future of their neighbors in their hands when Voske attacks Las Anclas with Changed humans, remade weapons, and treachery – is there a traitor inside the town’s walls?

This dystopian adventure twines together superpowers and prejudice, adult and family relationships of all types, the visceral rush and lingering mental pain of war, and possibilities of redemption amid sacrifice.  (One of 8,000 books recommended on

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