Crown of Oblivion

HarperTeen. Nov. 2019. 480p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062399311.
Gr 6 Up–Astrid is working as the surrogate to princess Reyna, meaning that anytime Reyna steps out of line it is Astrid who gets punished. Astrid is an Outsider; she lives to serve others with magical abilities, trying to help Reyna pay off her family’s debt. As an Outsider, The Race of Oblivion—a way to gain full citizenship—is the only way to change Astrid’s life. The racers’ memories are erased and they are thrown into the middle of nowhere; their task is to follow a set of clues to lead them to the finish line. Astrid is written as a strong, determined female protagonist. Through the race she discovers that she has magical abilities that she never knew about. This dystopian novel is packed with action and has strong political undertones. Eshbaugh does a phenomenal job at describing the setting, making it easy to follow what is happening in the story.
VERDICT Having similar tones and themes to Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games, this book would be enjoyed by those who like dystopian-themed novels.

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