The Renascent World
At five years old, Cassidy had outlived almost Earth’s entire population. Now, at sixteen, she’s in a forbidden relationship with an unworthy Earth boy.
Cassidy Jones was five years old when her parents escaped Earth with her and her brother. They were safe in Earth’s orbit in the town of Petriville—hovering at the center of an indestructible sphere—when the meteor impacted Earth and killed Cassidy’s grandparents, aunt and cousin.
But now, eleven years later, Gina Petri, Petriville’s founder, assigns a mate to each youth. When Cassidy refuses to participate in this forced mating, her dissent places her and her family in Gina’s firing line. This becomes especially pertinent when Cassidy enters a communication pod and meets an alluring hologram. Eric isn’t in Petriville and he insists Gina will murder his people if she discovers their existence, because he is one of Earth’s few survivors.
The more Cassidy gets to know Eric, the more she’s drawn to him—and the feeling seems mutual. He has lost so much in his life and her compassion for him runs deep. Despite the intensity of the static electricity when Cassidy and the hologram of Eric touch, she yearns for the day when she will meet him in person.
All the questions will be answered when Petriville returns to Earth, and that day is quickly approaching...
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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
The Renascent World is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi young adult novel with a dramatic and gripping storyline. After a meteorite destroys Earth, human civilization finds a way to repopulate to ensure the survival of the species. Cassidy Jones was only five when she and her family were chosen among other carefully selected families to inhabit the mysterious city of Petriville—a place encapsulated by a giant sphere in Earth’s orbit. Everything is blissful in its small population that operates under a set of rules. But Cassidy discovers something sinister when Gina Petri, the city’s totalitarian founder, assigns a mate for her that Cassidy refuses. Complications further ensue when she meets a young man named Eric through a communication pod. Eric is one of the few remaining Earth survivors who reveals Gina’s plans against his people to Cassidy.
Carryn W. Kerr has written a story filled with evocative scenes. It makes you wonder what future lies ahead for our planet. The world-building is skillfully crafted and gives an immersive feel of what it is like to live in a protective dome. As for the exploration of relationships, Kerr gives enough time to establish Cassidy and Eric’s relationship on a getting to know basis, to build up their feeling of longing to touch each other. It is even more intense when you think that they are teenagers experiencing first love. Gina Petri is an antagonist that you will love to hate. Cassidy’s strength as a protagonist hinges on how formidable her enemy is, and that is what makes Gina a hateful and effective villain. Evocative and thought-provoking, The Renascent World sets the bar for what dystopian YA fiction should be.
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
The Renascent World: Book 1 by Carryn W. Kerr is an evocative young adult sci-fi drama. Meet Cassidy Jones, a 16-year-old girl who escaped a catastrophic meteorite that destroyed Earth except for a few survivors. She has shunned an arranged relationship in favor of a forbidden one with a boy from Earth, named Eric, who is a hologram and one of the last few survivors. She is in space with her parents in a town called Petriville, and now she will do just about anything to be with Eric in the flesh. Petriville is about to return to Earth, but will Cassidy meet up with Eric, or will Petriville's founder Gina (who also arranged the mate for Cassidy) put an end to her happiness? This scenario takes place in a future time of course, where customs, laws, and social norms are very different from what we know today.
What I like about this sci-fi story are the elements of drama and suspense, and the choice made by Kerr to portray Cassidy, her brother Liam, Jonas, and the other young characters as typical, relatable adolescents. The first-person narrative lends a personal touch to the story and heightens the angst, and the dialogue is fresh. The storyline is unique, and the psychological aspects are compelling. And if that isn't enough, the author has a romance between a human teenager and a hologram. This puts a nice twist on the sci-fi genre in a way that makes you so curious you have to keep reading. So, given all the reasons to become interested in the story, I will say that it never disappoints, and is highly entertaining. You get the feeling that these are real teenagers with future problems. This author knows her YA audience well, and I think they will love The Renascent World: Book 1 by Carryn W. Kerr.