Monday, June 16, 2014

daynight by Megan Thomason - a tense, young adult dystopian story

daynight is based on the intriguing premise that Earth has a “sister” world, Thera, where those that have had their lives cut short can go for a second chance at a longer life. Specially gifted individuals can go back and forth via portals between the two worlds (without having to die). Kira Donovan, is unknowingly gifted with this ability and as her tragic junior year of high school year ends (110 of her classmates, her boyfriend and best friend were all killed in a house explosion at an after party for the Winter Dance), she chooses to complete her final year as a recruit of the SCI - the Second Chance Institute. The Second Chance Institute is the corporation that makes possible the "second chance" at life for the deceased.

Blake, a classmate that also escaped the house explosion, signs on with SCI as well but he has a secret agenda behind his decision. Ethan, the son of a prominent family on Thera, attends college on Earth during the school year and interns with his father in the Theran government during summer break. The three main characters are united on Thera and an angsty love triangle develops.

Life on Thera is governed by strict rules with harsh consequences for non-compliance. It is also a physically, harsh environment with the outside temperatures reaching 150 degrees during the day. As an adaptation to the heat, the inhabitants live their lives and are awake during the cooler hours of darkness and sleep during the heat of the day.

The Second Chance inhabitants are unaware of their previous lives on Earth. They come to Thera the same age they were when they died with no memory of their past. When Kira realizes that her former boyfriend, best friend, and many of her former classmates are now on Thera as Second Chancers, it becomes a stressful struggle for her to maintain the pretense that they are meeting for the first time and have no history with each other.

The story is an adventure, a mystery, a romance and thriller all blended to create a highly enjoyable reading experience. The main characters are flawed, yet very likeable; the situation on Thera, tense; and the machinations behind the scenes on Thera, frightening and dangerous. All of which will keep the “pages” turning.

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