Monday, June 06, 2011

Review: Exodus by Julie Bertagna

Book Description from Pan Macmillan:

A startling, thrilling novel set in a dystopian future ravaged by global warming.
It is 2099 - and the world is gradually drowning, as mighty Arctic ice floes melt, the seas rise, and land disappears forever beneath storm-tossed waves. For 15-year-old Mara, her family and community, huddled on the fast-disappearing island of Wing, the new century brings flight. Packed into tiny boats, a terrifying journey begins to a bizarre city that rises into the sky, built on the drowned remains of the ancient city of Glasgow. But even here there is no safety and, shut out of the city, Mara realizes they are asylum-seekers in a world torn between high-tech wizardry and the most primitive injustice. To save her people, Mara must not only find a way into the city but also search for a new land and a new home...

Source: Pan Macmillan, Hattie (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Exodus was not the kind of the book that I would usually read because I am deathly afraid of drowning. But the world that Bertagna created reminded me of the world that O’Brien created in Birthmarked, which I loved. It was a harsh, unfair world but despite my fears, my dislike, my grief at how the characters have suffered, I enjoyed my stay in their story world. There was a raw beauty in survival and loss. This novel really made the characters struggle for their lives. The characters experienced a slow death through sickness and starvation.

One of the things that I liked about this novel was how Bertagna showed what isolation could to do people, how it could change them for the better and for the worst. The wonders of survival and adaptation could be seen in the various people that Mara met. There were losses and gains that had to be dealt with. I was astounded and appalled at some of the things here. The twists and turns in the novel were quite bizarre and were the kind that caught me off guard. I love unpredictable novels and this one made it into the list.

New Mungo, one of the New World cities, was a refuge in Eurosea. It was the last hope for most people. But with its walls guarding it from the sea, how could Mara get inside? Everyone was desperate to get inside those walls aside from the expert little children who played in the contaminated water. Reckless, playful and fun, they caught Mara’s interest. The Treenesters, one of the people who live outside New Mungo, were a strange but welcoming lot. They nested high up in the trees, easily hiding from sight and surviving in their little island above the ruins of the old city.

Mara and Fox were very cute together. I loved how they were drawn to each other. Normally, I did not like rushed love but I felt that their love was real and strong enough to give them strength in their own battles. Their part in Exodus was my favorite.

Exodus is a heart-wrenching story of a girl’s journey, sacrifice, loss, love and hope in a harsh, drowning world. Terrifying and worrisome, this novel had me gripping it tight as I accompanied Mara as she sought answers. I found the novel suspenseful and hard to put down. I loved how the lives of the characters and their own stories were knitted up in the end to make a complete tapestry of history, consequences, destiny and passion. I recommend this to dystopian fans, particularly fans of Birthmarked!



  1. I've just recently been getting into Dystopian, and this one sounds awesome! Definitely adding it to my TBR list! Thanks for the great review!

  2. Oh wow, I really need to read this! I agree with you in your first sentence, with your fear of drowning *edges away from the water*, but Exodus sounds amazing. The way you describe it, I can see this as such a fantastic addition to the dystopian market. You've gotten me excited for this now, Precious! Brilliant review!

  3. This looks so good! Great review!