Review of America Pacifica by Anna North

America Pacifica
by Anna North
Copyright 2011
Hachette Book Group
304 pages
ISBN: 9780316105125

From the publisher:
Eighteen-year-old Darcy lives on the island of America Pacifica--one of the last places on earth that is still habitable, after North America has succumbed to a second ice age. Education, food, and basic means of survival are the province of a chosen few, while the majority of the island residents must struggle to stay alive. The rich live in "Manhattanville" mansions made from the last pieces of wood and stone, while the poor cower in the shantytown slums of "Hell City" and "Little Los Angeles," places built out of heaped up trash that is slowly crumbling into the sea. The island is ruled by a mysterious dictator named Tyson, whose regime is plagued by charges of corruption and conspiracy.

But to Darcy, America Pacifica is simply home--the only one she's ever known. In spite of their poverty she lives contentedly with her mother, who works as a pearl diver. It's only when her mother doesn't come home one night that Darcy begins to learn about her past as a former "Mainlander," and her mother's role in the flight from frozen California to America Pacifica. Darcy embarks on a quest to find her mother, navigating the dark underbelly of the island, learning along the way the disturbing truth of Pacifica's early history, the far-reaching influence of its egomaniacal leader, and the possible plot to murder some of the island's first inhabitants--including her mother.

My Review:
Goodreads Rating, 2 out of 5 (It was okay)

Generally I'm a fan of dystopian fiction and I'm usually always a fan of a story with a different than usual take. When I saw this book with its awesome cover of a world turned upside down and back cover blurb of an America covered in ice, I jumped. I was thinking that America Pacifica would be a cool young adult story of a teen overcoming a world of poverty, disease, and violence but this book had a tone that was a lot darker and seedier than I expected. America Pacifica is indeed a world full of tyranny, violence, and dark deeds, the experiences that Darcy faces throughout this book are hard to imagine. That said due to the violence, graphic language, drug use, and sexual content I'd recommend this only for mature audiences.

Aside from the cover I must say however that I didn't really care for this story. Why? I didn't like Darcy at all. She was entirely too bitter and negative about everything. Granted she did live on an island that was pretty much hell on earth but up until the very end I felt like Darcy didn't really care about anyone but herself. The ending itself was rather rushed and didn't really answer my questions about the fate of the residents of America Pacifica and Darcy. I think that the conclusion that we do get leaves this book open for a sequel. I will say this, Ms. North definitely knows how to build a world. If she can make me, a small-town girl, feel like I was in the world's darkest, dirtiest, most violent alleyway, that's saying something.

All in all it was a decent story and probably a story that fans of dystopian fiction without the feel of a YA book will enjoy. It was a rather quick read so if you see it in the library you might want to check it out.

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*I received my complimentary ARC from the publisher in exchange for posting my honest opinion of the book.*



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