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FICTION

Scavenger of Souls

368p. (Survival Colony 9: Bk. 2). ebook available. S. & S./Margaret K. McElderry Bks. Aug. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781481462440.
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Gr 7 Up—In this follow-up to Survival Colony 9, 15-year-old Querry Genn and his mother Aleka are leading what's left of their nomadic and decimated colony to the mountains, where they hope to find water, food, and protection from the Skaldi, alien creatures that eat humans from the inside out. Instead, Aleka has inadvertently led them to capture by a cultish tribe that lives in the canyon. Their leader, Asunder, has promised that he'll keep Querry's people safe, but it means complete submission and brainwashing. The teen escapes alone only to discover another group of humans with adequate means of survival who have close ties to both colonies. With the help of Mercy, a fearless girl with combat experience, Querry forges ahead with a plan to save his remaining colony from Asunder but in doing so puts all of humanity at risk. Improved pacing and heightened suspense make this sequel even better than its predecessor. Bellin has a talent for world-building, and there's much more life written into this narrative. Questions from the first book have intriguing answers. The addition of dynamic new characters and a less desolate setting will further enhance readers' experience.
VERDICT Add to collections where the first book is popular.

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