Review – ORLEANS

Posted January 26, 2013 by Emily in review / 0 Comments

*NOTE: I received ORLEANS as an ARC for winning a contest from Fiona Paul. This in no way influenced my review.
Orleans by Sherri L. Smith


AUTHOR: Sherri L. Smith
TYPE: ARC from Fiona Paul*

First came the storms.
Then came the Fever.
And the Wall.

After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct… but in reality, a new primitive society has been born.

Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans. In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival.

Sherri L. Smith delivers an expertly crafted story about a fierce heroine whose powerful voice and firm determination will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

REVIEW: ORLEANS is centered around Fen, a native who is left with her leader’s baby to take care of, and Daniel, a scientist from the “Outer States” (the New “Unite States”). ORLEANS is set in the Delta, also known as Orleans. (I wonder where the title came from…) A disease, known as the Delta Fever, has plagued what used to be known New Orleans. It is in the blood of the natives and deadly. The Delta Fever is the reason why Orleans is no longer part of the United States, and why there even is an “Outer States”. In the Delta it is hard to survive without a tribe classified by blood type. Fen used to be part of the O positive tribe, until one day, it is attacked, and the tribal chief dies.

ORLEANS surprised me in many ways. One thing that surprised me was how the book jumped right into action. I didn’t have to wait long for something interesting to happen. It didn’t just stop there. The action continued to the very end. That made the book fun to read, and I had a hard time putting it down. I just wanted to keep reading and find out what happens next. That was one of the factors that made the book so good.

The most surprising thing about ORLEANS was not how good it was, (it was really good), but the style of writing half of it was written it. The style of writing is something that makes ORLEANS stick out to me. I think Sherri L. Smith took a risk in writing like that, but it paid off in the end. The book alternates between two different points of views – Fen’s and Daniel’s. Fen was born in Orleans and has never been anywhere else, trapped in the Delta because of the Delta Fever that probably is in her blood. Daniel, on the other hand, was born in the Outer States. One of the differences between the two, is not where they are from, but their education. Fen grew up learning how to survive, not really the traditional education we get today. Daniel grew up going to school and then went to college. Afterwards, he became one of the many scientists trying to find the cure to the Delta Fever, the disease that killed his brother. Their difference in education is reflected in the way they speak and think. Daniel’s thoughts sound more educated, while Fen’s sound less educated. At first, Fen’s way of speaking turned me off. She was introduced first, way before Daniel. When I first read it, all I could think of was “how did this get published?” But the more I read, the more the genius behind it became more and more clear. Sherri L. Smith did a fantastic job capturing the way Fen would have spoke. It made the novel seem even more realistic.

Character wise, I really loved Fen. I felt really bad for her for most of the book. She has a really sad story, and having to put up with a newborn baby and Daniel, the not-so-smart scientist, just made her life more difficult. Fen is really fierce and respectable. She does her best to keep her promises to others, even if those promises would make her life a lot harder. I thought Daniel was kind of stupid in the beginning, not to mention a wimp. If not for Fen, he would have never survived. That brings me to another thing that surprised me about ORLEANS. ORLEANS is the first book I have read in a long time that did not revolve around romance or a love triangle. That made ORLEANS even better, believe it or not.

Throughout the book, Fen and Daniel have one goal, survive living in the Delta and to get out to the Outer States. If you want to find out if they achieve their goal, you’ll have to read the book. Trust me, it’s definitely worth it.


4 Snowflakes

RECOMMENDATION: For fans of Sherri L. Smith and Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne


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