Published by: Walker Childrens on April 2, 2013
Genre: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Zombies
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There is no cure for being stung.
Fiona doesn't remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered—her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn't remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She's right.
Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.
Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.
I really like the overall idea of Stung. Bees are on the verge of becoming extinct, so scientists genetically modify them, but then when they sting humans they give them deathly flu-like symptoms, then the scientists produce a ‘cure’ for this “Bee Flu”, which turns out to be even worse than the flu and results in the world being zombie-fied.
Some parts of the back story were introduced a little too quickly (by ‘quickly’ I don’t mean early on—I just mean briefly), but mostly I was very interested in it. I think it’s something about bees that just makes it seem cool. That, and the tattoos. There were also a few moments in Stung that were really heartbreaking. I mean, we have zombies so obviously they’re out there mindlessly killing, and that includes family members. Cue sniffles!
But that being said, there were also several parts of the book that didn’t quite sit well with me. For one, the book sometimes felt a little jumbled and aimless. For large portions of the story, I felt like I had no idea where things were headed. I like being able to have a very clear sense of the direction of the book, and I didn’t always get that in Stung.
Secondly, I was not a fan of the romance. I felt like Fiona and Bowen lacked chemistry. I never felt a single spark between them. And their whole romance just moved so fast; it was a bit of a whirlwind and I didn’t like it. If they actually had chemistry and if the romance took more time to develop, then I think the potential for a great romance is definitely there. All the circumstances set things up well for some good emotion and heartbreak, but I never actually felt that myself. And when they started saying the “I love you’s” I was rolling my eyes a little. They had only been together for like, a few days.
Stung was not a perfect read, but there is a good story there. My favourite part was when they introduced some serious gladiator craziness. Those gladiator type fights always bring out a morbid curiosity in me. It was one of the more emotional scenes in the book! I think that with a little better world building (especially inside the wall—I’m curious about that), a much better romance, and a little tightening up overall, this could have easily been a 4 or 5 star book. But even with some of the problems that Stung had, I never felt like it was tough to get through the book. Even if I was a little confused or unsure at times, I wasn’t bored, and that’s definitely a good thing!
About the Author
Bethany Wiggins has always been an avid reader, but not an avid writer. She failed ninth grade English because she read novels instead of doing her homework. In high school, she sat alone at lunch and read massive hardback fantasy novels (Tad Williams and Robert Jordan anyone?). It wasn’t until the end of her senior year that the other students realized she was reading fiction—not the Bible.
Once upon a time, Bethany’s sister dared her to start writing an hour a day until she completed a novel. Bethany wrote a seven-hundred page fantasy novel that she wisely let no one read—but it taught her how to write. She is the author of SHIFTING, STUNG (April 2013), and CURED (2014).
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