Amy Ewing, The Jewel, 2014, 358p
If you have read ANY of my blog posts or if you even remotely have discussed books with me at any time, you will know that I’m beyond addicted to dystopian teen fiction. It is my book crack. I tried to count up the number of dystopian series I have read and the list was crazy long.
I like what I like. And I liked The Jewel. Is it cheesy and predictable? You bet. But it was an entertaining quick read, yo.
The first book in the “Lone City” series, the Jewel follows Violet, a powerful surrogate purchased by royalty to essentially propagate human kind. The royal bloodlines are tainted. In order to have healthy children, the rich purchase surrogates from the poorest communities – but these are no ordinary girls. Each have special powers over the “auguries”– being able to change somethings colour, change its shape, and encourage it to grow. Violet, now know simply as #197, is purchased by the Duchess of the Lake and is isolated and beaten. She is simply trying to survive, until she meets Ash – a paid companion to the Duchess’ niece. While the forbidden romance grows between Violet and Ash, the other surrogates begin dying after childbirth. Violet attempts to escape her fate, but things become much more complicated when she realizes she is pregnant…
If you’re reading this blog and are like “wait haven’t I read something like this before?”, the answer is clearly yes. Is this a new age, low grade version of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale? Obviously. Are there any new stories out there? Likely not. Is this going to be a classic? No. But I read it and will devour the rest of the series like a bag of chips.