Saturday, June 8, 2013

Snatched Up By POD People

Published: June 4th, 2013
PODs (Pods # 1)
By: Michelle Pickett
Spencer Hill Press
ISBN-13:  9781937053284

Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.

     Eva is sixteen and just wants to live in peace with her parents and maybe grow up to do something that makes her happy.  But than an unknown virus starts breaking out across the country and the government takes action that will changer her life forever.  Unsure how the virus is even transmitted, the government decides to have a lottery to decide who will live protected for a year in underground PODs, that will support life and keep them safe.  But is the lottery really fair?  Eva is chosen and goes into her POD not knowing what to expect.  A year later when she comes out, she's in love with David and ready to start a new life in a society different from what she left behind.  The virus may not be destroyed like they thought, and when things take a turn for the worst Eva and David may be forced to retreat into the PODs once again for safety.  Can they make it long enough for a cure to be found or will they be killed by the infected who are hunting them relentlessly?
     This book is scary in way that I haven't felt since watching that movie Contagion a few years ago.  How easily this could actually happen in the reality of the world we live in makes it downright terrifying to me!  And to be honest, as horrible as it was that the government only chose people between ages 12-24 for the POD lottery, it made sense on a certain level.  They needed people young enough and healthy enough to survive and rebuild a broken society.  They needed to be able to be taught and molded into certain career/societal roles and they also needed to be self-sufficient and not dependent on an adult for survival.  With only 70,000 spots in the PODs, it makes sense.  But it would still be extremely agonizing to know that everyone you left behind is almost assuredly dead and they died in a painful way.
     Eva is a strong, admirable girl but she is unsure how she can make it without her parents.  Living with 10 strangers for a year isn't her idea of fun, but somehow they start to get close to each other and make their own family.  Especially after delivering her fellow POD survivor's baby and falling in love with another PODmate, David.  But when the doors open a year and a half later and they are all separated into different 'village' assignments, Eva and the others have no real hope of seeing each other again.  The relationships between all of them were really realistic, not perfect because they were all basically scared teenagers.  But they managed to prop each other up and survive for their time in the PODs.  Also, other people are complaining about insta-love between David and Eva, but to me it just seemed like instant attraction.  The will-they/won't-they dynamic and their attempts to 'protect' each other DID start to annoy me.  But the romances in this book were very sweet and had some great chemistry.  I won't tell you what happens after they leave the PODs, but this book was full of action, romance and truly great character interactions and growing maturity on the part of Eva especially.  It was a wonderful book and one of the best I've read so far this year.  It could stand alone, so I'm interested to see if the next one is a sequel or a companion novel.  I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great dystopian read, and happening to be sick of the same old stories.

VERDICT:  4/5  Stars

*I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. This book was published June 4th, 2013.*

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