Saturday, November 19, 2022

Today's read... Neverdying by Shanti Hershenson

 Today's read heads toward the realm of science fiction and a manufactured 'disease', which brings immortality. Since only a few have been infected, the rest of society finds it unfair and decides to terminate them, one by one. I thought it sounded interesting and after highlighting this one last month, have now had a chance to dive in and take a peek myself. 

by Shanti Hershenson
Young Adult Science Fiction

If you could live forever, would it be a gift… or a disease?

A doctor created a genetic mutation meant as a gift to society—to those at random in future generations who were born with it: Immortality. But the risk of overpopulation and questions rising about the imbalance of only few being Immortals brings the ruthless President Wilde to a different stand—a facade of peace and equality whereas Immortals are executed daily—thus creating the ruination of the United States… and the world soon after.

Scarlett Caldwell is a girl of many mysteries—but along with that, she’s an Immortal. Having run away from a very young age and forced to forget the part of her identity that could get her assassinated, she turns to very few of her friends and spends the majority of her days hiding in the Immortals Legion, a compound for Immortals in hiding. But times are changing and tensions are only growing—Scarlett knows she can’t stay hidden forever. When she encounters an unfairly attractive Exterminator who, despite seeming rigid, has an amusing thing or two to say, she is left absolutely livid. But beyond that, beyond all the parts of him that she hates, there’s a secret. And Scarlett will do anything to unravel it.

Cain Hawkins is an Exterminator, a member of the country’s new authority specially trained to hunt down and exterminate the remaining Immortals. He truly believes that being an Exterminator is what he is meant for—despite what he may or may not know. And when a skirmish with an Immortal on the street leaves him questioning every last bit of himself, he will have to rise to stand with his president and failing country, or run from everything he was conditioned for. Besides, Cain has a secret: He is an Immortal too.

Their first encounter is far from the last, for an opportunity rises for the two to (unwillingly) work together. Already, they are left with a spark—a spark of hope for a future where Immortals are not prosecuted. And no matter if Cain sees the spark or not, the question still remains: How long will it be until a single spark ignites a fire?

TUCK EVERLASTING meets STAR WARS in this compelling and romantic novel by 14-year-old author, Shanti Hershenson.



From the very first chapters, this world grabs and draws in with amazing character depth and enough action to keep the pages turning.

Scarlett learned of her immortality when she was twelve. Thrown onto the streets by her parents, she managed to survive thanks to a secret organization, the Immortals Legion. Their only goal is to keep immortals alive and hidden away from the Exterminators, but things have started to change, and Scarlett isn't sure she's ready to face any of it. Especially with the odd fact that she, as an immortal, is scared of death.

This is written by a fourteen-year-old author, and it's safe to say that she's one to keep an eye on. Without any gentleness, the first chapters dive into both Scarlett's and Cain's lives. The situations grab, each in their own, potent way. Scarlett is one of the hunted, who lives in hiding, and Cain is on his way to achieve his hard-earned dream as an exterminator. Both have harsh edges, both are determined in their goals, both have understandable situations, and despite mistakes...or maybe because of them...both end up being hard not to like. The author especially did a great job with Cain, since his first moments definitely don't invite to sympathy, and yet, it doesn't take long before the reader is rooting for him and hopes he might be able to redeem himself. 

The plot is character drive, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of action along the way. This is a complex world with a lot going on. There were a few moments, which slid by with a slight lack of logic and too much ease, but in general, everything flows very well. The world is interesting to get lost in, and the aspects of the society leave food for thought. The enemies-to-friends romance comes across with a good pacing and is sure to win over fans of that trope. It will be fun to see where this tale heads next because it's off to a very solid start.

And here she is...

Shanti Hershenson’s first two novellas were published when she was in the sixth grade, although her writing journey started long before then. Ever since she could hold a pencil, marker, or crayon, she was creating stories. They started from pictures, mere scribbles, and eventually, turned into captivating tales.

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