by Amy Christine Parker

Coming August 27, 2013

Do the gates keep the unchosen out or the chosen in?

In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members  of the flock. They moved here fallowing 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned: 

Pioneer is her leader.

Will is her intended.

The end of the world is near.

Like Noah before him, Pioneer has been told of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must arm themselves to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the compound’s underground fortress–the Silo.  

Lyla loves her family and friends, but given the choice, she prefers painting to target practice. And lately she’d rather think about a certain boy outside the compound than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But with the end of days drawing near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side and let everyone know where she stands.

A Cult, the end of the world and arranged marriages. These are a few of my least favorite things. But that didn’t stop me from loving this book. The story line was fairly original and fresh in genre filled with stories that all sound the same. The writing was good it wasn’t overly detailed, descriptive, technical or fluffy. However, I wish that Amy had described the situation and beliefs of the community a bit more at the very beginning. The plot was well paced and had just the right amount of twists and turns to keep it exciting without confusing or losing the reader. The characters were well written, lovable and despite their crazy situation just relateable enough to form a connection with the leader. But sadly, the character development was subtle and not very strong. Lyla’s sweet and compassionate personality was very clearly painted. It was mostly described or shown with direct characterization, meaning that other characters described what kind of a person she was in their words rather than the reader having to infer what Lyla was like through her actions ect. alone. Sometimes this approach works, sometimes it doesn’t. Amy pulled it off thanks to the fact that Lyla’s actions supported the other characters descriptions of her personality. Now that we have Lyla as an individual covered it is time to address the romance factor!

Sorry I just couldn’t resist that gif! Anyways, the mutual romantic relationship in the book was…hmm…what’s a good way to put this? Way to strong way to fast and badly paced. In one conversation it was struck blind crush level. After about 2 it remained the same. Then a few more mushy, stay safe, get out, cuz I really really like you conversations. Then after that the boy is putting him self in danger and angering his uncle just to sit by her side and make sure she was ok. It was just a little all over the place and oddly paced in my opinion. However, it didn’t take away from the book as a whole and was still pretty darn cute. Over all it was a good book and I would recommend reading it. I think a wide audience would enjoy it. I give it 3.5 stars out of 5. You can buy it from Liberty Bay Books by clicking the link that reads “Gated” under the book cover and you can add it to your Goodreads here.


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