Z for zzzzz – Stung, by Bethany Wiggins (book review) – bees extinct, humanity next?

book cover of Stung by Bethany Wiggins published by Walker BloomsburyNo bees, no pollination.
No pollination, no food.
No food, now anarchy.

Bee flu? Bioengineered bee-replacements? Vaccine-induced madness coupled with super-human strength? Not the Denver that I want to visit…

You can read an excerpt from the first chapter of Stung  here.

Will we be able to save today’s normal bees and save ourselves?

Book info:  Stung / Bethany Wiggins. Walker & Company, 2013.  [author blog]  [publisher site]  [book trailer]

My recommendation: Fiona suddenly awakens in her bedroom, clean in a world of filth and dust, looking like she’s seventeen yet feeling thirteen. She knows she must hide the ten-legged tattoo on her hand, but can’t remember why.

Attacked by a snarling savage man who might be her brother, she flees her family’s shattered house, seeking answers, finding hostility from neighbors. Reward posters offer ounces of rarer-than-gold honey for live captives with the tattoo – she recalls something about bees dying.

Rescued from vicious men by a ragged child, Fi finds a world of refugee Fecs in the sewers. The tattooed ones turn violent as teenagers and are hunted down by the militia before they can mindlessly attack the clean citizens behind the Wall. A three can break a strong man’s arm without effort – what could a ten like Fiona do? But she still feels human…

An attempt to rescue a three from the militia goes wrong, and Fiona is sonic-shocked. She recognizes her captor as Bowen, her next-door-neighbor, the younger brother. He is stunned to hear her speak, as the violent impulses always choke out rational thought.

Eventually convinced that Fiona won’t turn violent, Bowen tells her what’s happened during her four-year memory gap. Scientists tried to rescue dwindling bee populations and created disease, tried to cure the disease and created monsters. Each leg on a tattoo means one dose received –  and one step closer to violence and madness. People with no tattoo weren’t exposed to the cure and won’t turn violent, so healthy ones can live inside the Wall – for a time.

But something is wrong with this theory – if Fiona has ten marks, why isn’t she a mindless monster by now? How did she suddenly appear in a clean dress in her old house? Why can’t she remember the past four years? Why does the Governor want her so badly that he offers full life inside the Wall for her capture, dead or alive?

Battling against more than just loss of water and resources, Fiona and Bowen work on the mystery as they try to escape from the militia, the slavetraders, the Fecs, and the Governor in a frightening future where not one bee buzzes. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

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