Halo by Frankie Rose
Book 1 in the Blood & Fire series. Radicals, book two, is available for pre-order on iBooks now!
She has no name.
She has her knives. Her training. Her halo.
The first and second give her the ability to defeat the opponents she is pitted against each month. The third frees her from pain and fear. From any kind of emotion at all. Everything is as it should be. Everything is as it should be, until…
Fear… Pain… Anger… Happiness… Desire… Guilt…
When a newly named Kit escapes the Sanctuary after killing her best friend, the last thing she needs is another knife in her hand. Or Ryka, the damaged, beautiful blond boy, whom she refuses to let save her. The sights and sounds of Freetown are new, yet one thing is familiar: the matches. The only difference? Where the blood in the Sanctuary landed only on the Colosseum floor, Kit will quickly learn that a river of red runs through Freetown’s very streets.
Without her halo, the inhabitants of Kit’s new home consider her saved, but is that really the case? The reality of her old life is paralyzing. Would she be better off free of the guilt associated with all the blood on her hands, or is the love of one boy worth living through all the pain?
The Colosseum is behind Kit. The fighting pits await.
Warning: Contains graphic combat scenes, Halo is suitable for readers 16 yrs and up.
From the Kirkus:
Young-adult science fiction about a teenage warrior girl who escapes her dystopian society and goes on a mission to find herself.
Rose (Eternal Hope, 2012, etc.) doesn’t disappoint in her third YA outing. In a futuristic society known as the Sanctuary, 16-year-old Kit is a member of the Falin class. The Sanctuary fits each Falin with a permanent “halo,” a device that provides its host with a constant feed of emotion-blocking drugs. As a result, Falin feel no anger, sadness, joy, love, pity or shame—which is why Kit has become her nation’s most renowned arena fighter without feeling an ounce of guilt over killing so many other young people. But when her best friend, Asha, manages to disengage Kit’s halo, everything changes. No longer content to be a political pawn and gambling plaything, Kit escapes the Sanctuary and goes to Freetown, where she witnesses a very different kind of society. Meanwhile, she struggles to process her many new feelings; complicating matters, of course, is a male warrior who makes it his business to become Kit’s savior. This YA adventure has action-packed fight scenes, strong emotional connections, tragic losses and a healthy dose of sarcasm. Kit, as narrator, describes frighteningly violent fights in detail and later moves fluidly into personal, confusing romantic reflections. She struggles with familial losses and with achieving her larger goals in an uncertain world. Rose handles these scenarios with finesse and insight. As the residents of the Sanctuary and Freetown prepare for war, readers can only hope that there will soon be a sequel to tie up the remaining loose ends.
An imaginative, gripping YA tale of love and violence.
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