Title: America Pacifica
Author: Anna North
Genre: fiction (dystopic)
Length: 294 pages
Published: May 1, 2011
Source: public library
Resolutions/Challenges: an extra for my Published in 2011 Resolution
Reason for Reading: It’s dystopic novel. Enough said.
Summary (from Goodreads):
Eighteen-year-old Darcy lives on the island of America Pacifica—one of the last places on earth that is still habitable, after North America has succumbed to a second ice age. Education, food, and basic means of survival are the province of a chosen few, while the majority of the island residents must struggle to stay alive. The rich live in “Manhattanville” mansions made from the last pieces of wood and stone, while the poor cower in the shantytown slums of “Hell City” and “Little Los Angeles,” places built out of heaped up trash that is slowly crumbling into the sea. The island is ruled by a mysterious dictator named Tyson, whose regime is plagued by charges of corruption and conspiracy.
But to Darcy, America Pacifica is simply home—the only one she’s ever known. In spite of their poverty she lives contentedly with her mother, who works as a pearl diver. It’s only when her mother doesn’t come home one night that Darcy begins to learn about her past as a former “Mainlander,” and her mother’s role in the flight from frozen California to America Pacifica. Darcy embarks on a quest to find her mother, navigating the dark underbelly of the island, learning along the way the disturbing truth of Pacifica’s early history, the far-reaching influence of its egomaniacal leader, and the possible plot to murder some of the island’s first inhabitants—including her mother.
My Thoughts: While, as a whole this book turned out to be pretty good, it got a less than neutral rating because of the beginning. Without the beginning, it would’ve got a neutral rating. But of 294 pages, it took 100 to get me interested. Thus, the lower rating. If you can make it through what I felt was a less than intriguing beginning, the rest is pretty good!
I also sort of wished the ending would’ve been a little more conclusive. It was left open-ended, I’m assuming so that a sequel can follow. But it wasn’t the sort of open ending that was written to make the reader sort of imagine the rest for his-/herself–at least not how I saw it.
Darcy, the main character, is pretty selfish throughout the book. It wasn’t until the end that it actually started to annoy me. With a “country” in revolution, partly because of her, she took no part in what came next. True, she didn’t ask to be involved, she sort of got sucked into it. But still. I can understand her reasons for wanting to know/understand more. And I know that I would probably act more selfish if I were in the situation of revolution than I’d like to admit. Because you can’t really know until you’ve been in that situation if you’d help someone else before yourself or not.
I did, however, enjoy the reasons behind the formation of America Pacifica. (I believe it’s around Guam or the Philippines.) The island was populated from people who fled mainland America. The reason for the fleeing is because of an ice age–so they had to go somewhere warm. It’s nice to know that a very possible natural disaster was the cause and not purely a corrupt person/group wanting power. The corrupt used the natural weather pattern as a means to an end, instead. Oh, and the story is supposed to take place in 2061 or shortly thereafter.
I have to admit that I’m not sure if I’d read a sequel if North decides to write one though…