Summary (from Goodreads): Wonderblood is Julia Whicker’s fascinating literary debut, set in a barren United States, an apocalyptic wasteland where warring factions compete for control of the land in strange and dangerous carnivals. A mad cow-like disease called “Bent Head” has killed off millions. Those who remain worship the ruins of NASA’s space shuttles, and Cape Canaveral is their Mecca. Medicine and science have been rejected in favor of magic, prophecy, and blood sacrifice.
When traveling marauders led by the bloodthirsty Mr. Capulatio invade her camp, a young girl named Aurora is taken captive as his bride and forced to join his band on their journey to Cape Canaveral. As war nears, she must decide if she is willing to become her captor’s queen. But then other queens emerge, some grotesque and others aggrieved, and not all are pleased with the girl’s ascent. Politics and survival are at the centre of this ravishing novel.
Review: The premise of this novel is what had me picking it up at the bookstore. It was marketed as a futuristic novel that takes place in the United States in the dwindled population of those individuals who didn’t succumb to the “Bent Head” virus (kind of like mad-cow). This remaining population worship the ruins of NASA space shuttles and believe that blood sacrifice is the only way to have these rockets return to save them all.
This is a relatively short book at 285 pages but it felt like it took forever to get through it and stay engaged. There is a lot of repetitive violence throughout and not enough character development/level headed persons.
I admit, I did find the writing of the world itself and some of the story-line to be quite interesting and a little messed up, however, that’s all that this story had going for it. I found that I couldn’t make a connection to any of the characters nor did I root for any of them when they got into tight situations.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the dystopian book that I was hoping for. I would however be willing to pick up another of her books in the future as I did enjoy her writing style.