Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

"First came the storms.
Then came the fever.
And the wall."


A series of six progressively worse hurricanes struck New Orleans over five years. The causalities quickly mounted while the number of survivors soon fell to an estimated 10,000. A devastated society began to crumble when the quarantine was declared by FEMA and the CDEC to stop the spread of Delta Fever. Just five years later, the United States government withdraws from the affected regions of the Gulf States to protect the rights of the majority of its citizenry.
After – 31 years later
Now a primitive society isolated from the United States by a wall, Orleans is divided by blood, type that is. Sixteen-year-old Fen de la Guerre is living with an O positive tribe led by its chieftain, Lydia Moray. Lydia is eight months pregnant and the tribe is hosting a powwow with the O negatives at their camp in an attempt at unity. After the feast, Fen decides to check the camp’s defenses. Soon she runs into trouble and the camp is under attack by a group of Abs. fen finds Lydia but she is unable to help. She has gone into labor and Fen struggles to get them to safety. Away from the attackers, Lydia soon gives birth to a baby girl but quickly bleeds out. Fen is left alone without a tribe to care for Lydia’s newborn.
Daniel’s younger brother Charlie was a victim of the Delta Fever. He made it his mission to find a cure. After college, Daniel went to work for the military because it allowed him access to the best laboratories and samples of the virus. Hoping to find a way to make the virus attack itself, Daniel only succeeded in making it deadlier. Unwilling to destroy years of work, Daniel decides to break the quarantine and go into Orleans. He hopes to find the missing link to make his version of the virus into a cure. Daniel wants to save the world and ventures beyond the wall.
The city formerly known as New Orleans is not anything like Daniel imagined. Quickly becoming terrified, he decides to leave and return back over the wall. Despite his disguise as a leper, he is soon captured by a group by men and chained. Fen is hiding in a foxhole with Baby Girl after narrowly escaping from Mama Gentille and her blood camp. They both fall asleep and night has fallen when Fen is awoken by a hungry baby. Trying to quickly fix a bottle, she hears the rustle of blood hounds and knows there is no escape. She is chained and tries to stay away from the leper that they have also captured.
Back at the blood farm, Fen and Baby Girl are allowed to stay together for the time being. They place the two of them along with the leper in a cell. Remembering the advice her father gave her on escaping, Fen assesses their situation and realizes the leper is really in disguise. She asks him if he is a smuggler and she is disappointed to learn he isn’t. Daniel is looking for a guide to take him to the Institute of Post-Separation Studies. Fen is unwilling until Daniel says he will take the baby back over the wall with him. Fen begins to formulate a new plan. As morning dawns, they are able to escape by pretending to be lepers and aren’t followed.
Will Fen and Daniel make it to the Institute and what will they find there? What secrets is Fen keeping? Can Daniel locate the information he needs to create the cure for Delta Fever? Will he be able to get back over the wall undetected with Baby Girl? And what will happen to Fen?

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