Tent City by Kelly Van Hull
Release Date: March 10, 2013
Publisher: Self published through Amazon.
The Summary: After a devastating plague, introverted 17-year-old Dani Campbell and her family find themselves living in a very different America, one run by a cult-like leader, who forces children to move to “safety camps” designed to protect the human race. Encouraged to flee by her parents, Dani and her five-year-old brother seek refuge in the Black Hills of South Dakota. On the run with danger around every corner, Dani must fight to ensure their survival in this new world while trying to unmask the mystery of how it all came to be.
Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book as part of a read and review group. I am not compensated for this review, nor am I influenced in any way. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Review This is the second post-apocalyptic, post-government plot story I’ve read in a week or so, and I really enjoyed Tent City. Danni is a seventeen year old girl, who at the beginning of the book leaves home with her five year old brother and her best friend, Kit. They find safety in the mountains when they come across a group of others who have fled their homes. They settle into Tent City, making the best of the situation, the alternate–‘safety camps’, being much worse than what they’ve got.
Danni grows as a main character in leaps and bounds. In the beginning she was a standard teenager, who considered herself burdened by her younger brother, but as the story progresses the reader can see the changes in this character. She trains, becoming physically stronger, learns basic medical care, is able to stand up not only for herself, but her brother and some others that she meets along the way. Kit also changes, growing up and becoming a strong, independent woman on her own.
There’s a hint of romance, but it’s handled in a subtle way. Jack and Bentley both vie for Danni’s attention, and while it’s not resolved in this book, it adds to the story. The twists concerning the two men were a little predictable, but again it didn’t remove from the story and added an extra conflict in the later chapters.
The ties between religion and corruption in the government are really interesting. The Plagues as an apocalyptic tool, outside of a religious setting, are something I hadn’t seen before. The plot is well thought out and it flows nicely. My only complaint is the ending. I felt that it was a little rushed, and a little abrupt, and I want more. I’m looking forward to reading more of this universe.