Book review

The country has been embroiled in a civil war for 196 years, and there is no end in sight. Winnie Hilliard lives west of the Border Wall, in Green Territory, where the laws of conscription state that one member of each family must fight at all times. There are ways to get an exemption from military service, but Winnie just watched her best chance slip through her fingers: she got a failing score on the standardized test that would have sent her to the luxurious Green Capital and kept her out of harm’s way. Conscripts are taken according to birth order, and Winnie has two older siblings. Her older sister, Daphne, was sent to fight when their father died, and their middle brother, Fergus, is next in line. Winnie’s mom, Dr.Verna Hilliard, works for the government as a designer of biological weapons, a job that gives her permanent protection from enlistment. When Daphne’s death notice arrives in the mail—with Fergus’s conscription order tucked inside—Winnie’s life is turned upside-down. Daphne was killed, not by the Red Army and its supporters beyond the Wall, but by a pathogen of her mother’s design: a deadly virus called Somnaria. The whole family is stricken with grief as Fergus leaves to replace his older sister in the army, and Verna hatches a plot that may help put a stop to the cycle of war. To escape the threat of conscription, Winnie signs up for the Border Corps, a government propaganda program bent on eradicating the enemy through social conditioning. Meanwhile, Fergus reaches the front alongside a group of child soldiers raised on propaganda and fear. Both siblings must confront their enemies on the other side of the Wall as the struggle escalates, ultimately threatening to annihilate the country as they know it. Author Rainier Keyes makes her YA debut with this explosive dystopian novel—the first installment of the Hilliard series, a futuristic epic of war, betrayal, lifelong secrets, tormented romance, tested friendships, and chilling political machinery.

The Hilliard Contagion (Hilliard #1) by Rainier Keyes

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Rainier Keyes
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The Hilliard Contagion (Hilliard #1)

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