My Synopsis:In a post-apocalyptic world, in the year 2089, some humans are born different. They think of themselves as gifted, possessing a wide range of abilities like invisibility, controlling fire or ice, or harvesting energy from the world to bend and shape as needed. Those humans who are non-gifted fear the gifted, their unknown origins and abilities making them a target for hatred, ridicule, and most often death. Most often gifts will manifest in a child at a very young age and, when discovered, the children are either killed or left out on the streets to fend for themselves. The luckiest of these children find shelter in “flocks” and form new familial bonds with their flock leaders, often times still children themselves at the ripe age of eighteen. The flocks are forced to keep themselves hidden from society, rarely meeting anyone from another flock for fear of divulging who they are to the wrong person. The upcoming presidential election gives the people of Vendona a choice between Logan, who despises the “bad blooded” children and is hell-bent on eradicating them, or Henderson, a gentle spirited man who sees the gifted for what they are: children.Main Characters:Serena – At seventeen years old, Serena is second in command of the Southern flock. She has the ability to sense and absorb the energy of other bad bloods, allowing her to call upon others powers whenever needed. She is one of the few children that chose to leave her family home before they discovered her secret and often revisits her family home.Daniel - At nineteen years old, Daniel is the leader of the Northern flock. He has the ability to heal himself and others, making him nearly indestructible. As the leader of the Northern flock he is torn between his secret past and ensuring the safety of all his charges.Calhoun – An ex-soldier with a battle wound leaving him with only one arm and the only non-gifted adult who cares for and watches over the bad bloods. He helps Daniel and the Northern flock whenever they are in need.My Opinion:The synopsis and reviews of this book pulled me in, promising action, adventure, fantasy and romance: all the makings of a great young adult book. Being the first published book of author, Shannon Thompson, and published when she was a mere sixteen years old, I expected the story to be slightly immature but perfect for young adult readers. I was shocked by the explicit violence, language, and political theme I found in this book. In my opinion this book should be listed in the New Adult genre, but as expected, the writing style and prose used by the author is probably too immature for those over the age of 18.Literary perfectionists would have a heart attack at the state of the grammar and spelling in this book. (I did purchase this title from Amazon, so this was the final released version). I am including some of the worst offenses below, these are direct quotes from the book:“I never took the time to think on how the Henderson’s someone replace were feeling about having to have their only daughter.”“He was really hard to read, but then again, people aren’t meant to be read, books are. Daniel wasn’t a book, but if he was, he defiantly would have been a bestseller.”However, amongst the immature prose and unintelligible sentences is a story line that is extremely promising. The author was able to build the characters into people the reader could identify with and root for. The story didn’t really go anywhere for the first two-thirds of the book and then was wrapped up quickly in the last third with a nice pretty ribbon (this is definitely NOT a dystopian novel). The author could have condensed most of the story into a much more manageable 300 pages and not lost any readers. I would probably only recommend this book to readers age 16-18, but I am anxious to see what the now twenty-something writer is producing. If this early work is any indication, I would think her current work would be something special.