Saturday, 13 December 2014
Book: Carrier by Anne Tibbets
At 5 Naya was sold to a restuarant as a slave. At 13 she was sold to the Line, a place where young women are treated as sex slaves, never allowed to wear clothing, forced into sex 10 times a day, and never really living. All that changes when Naya is released from the Line, something that's never been heard of, and is told that she is pregnant with twins. Her life on its head, and the threat of her children being taken straight back to the Line, Naya tries to find a replacement...but in doing so she meets Dr. Ric Bennett, a doctor who aims to help girls that have escaped the Line. Constructing a new identity is the easy bit, but when things get more complicated, Naya and Ric have to think about the way they are fighting against the Line, and the government that controls it.
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Link to amazon
I'll be honest, after finishing Carrier I had no words. I was in the mood for a dystopia so knew I'd enjoy it, but I just didn't expect how much, nor the fact that the book would pack such an emotional punch. I don't think it was just the subject matter, though considering that some of that does deal with sexual slavery (from a young age) but something about the writing, and the powerfulness of the characters. The whole book just worked for me, even if the events almost had me in tears at points.
Though the book does deal with some serious subjects, like sex slavery (and slavery in general) there isn't anything described in graphic detail, not saying this book isn't for a mature audience, just that if you don't like graphic sex scenes then it doesn't have any. This doesn't mean that it packs any less of a punch, when reading about Naya's first experience I was both horrified and upset (which says a lot about the quality of the writing) and I was welling up a bit when Evie described her circumstances as well.
There is the slightest hint of a love story, though it is complicated (and ultimately how can it not be). It's between Ric and Naya but there's never much action to it, especially considering that Naya had been on the Line for 9 years (one comment about having 10 appointments a day, every day, was one of the ones that got me). Instead of jumping in and saying that Ric was wonderful and the only man who could erase what happened, Naya acted like a real person. She was scared of being close to him, scared when he said nice things, but ultimately tried to get past it, which in my mind made it one of the best love stories I've seen in a dystopia.
There was plenty of action going on, especially from Sonya (though you only saw what she was doing through what Naya observed) and that really added to the tension. There were a few points where I was really surprised by what was happening and really in the dark about what would happen next.
I also really liked the fact that Naya never forgot she was pregnant. Sounds silly but often pregnant characters end up doing things far beyond what they should and only later remembering that they were expecting. With Naya it was the forefront of her mind, and she wanted to do what was best for her babies, and that made the whole story worthwhile.
I really really enjoyed Carrier, it put me a bit in mind of The Woodlands, another great mature dystopia that I've read and loved, and though it gave me a massive emotional rollarcoaster, I don't regret it in the slightest!