Set a few years into the future, The Seventh Seed by Allison Maruska follows the struggles of Javier, a young scientific prodigy trying to find the cause of a virus causing the die-off of bee colonies. When he discovers that the virus has spread to mosquitos and is now fatally infecting humans, his attempts to blow the whistle on LifeFarm, a mega-corporation controlling virtually all food grown in the United States, he becomes a target for the corporation’s wrath.
After barely escaping with his life, Javier meets Liz, who has lost her entire family to LifeFarm’s corporate greed, and the pair of them embark on an adventure which eventually leads them to a town of rebels… a ‘seed’ community. Along the way they are joined by Charlie, a government agent who ends up on the wrong side of the law, and his nephew Mattson, a would-be hacker, among others.
Considering the unexplained bee die-offs all over the world, this is a slightly terrifying glimpse of what-could-be in a not-too-distant future. Javier and his friends discover they are living, all unknowing, in a dystopian society where everything is controlled by LifeFarm, even Congress and the military. The ways in which they and the people of The Seventh Seed fight back are ingenious, and I really like the way Allison Maruska chose not to tie everything up in a neat little bow at the ending.
While the ending was positive and hopeful for all the primary characters, it was very clear that the battles were far from over. I’m not sure if the author intends to write a sequel to The Seventh Seed, but there is plenty of material here for her to do so. Javier, Liz, Charlie and the other principal characters we were introduced to were interesting and well fleshed-out, with realistic backstories and logical motivations.
LifeFarm as a corporation slowly taking over the world by means of controlling the food supply was terrifyingly plausible. While I thoroughly enjoyed the story and found it to be pretty much free of typos and incorrect words, there were a few grammatical errors and run-on sentences which indicated to me that the book could have done with a few passes by an experienced editor.
With a couple of sequels and some professional editing, this could be a YA series on a par with The Hunger Games and Divergent. I’m rating it 4 out of 5 stars.
The Seventh Seed is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through Reader’s Favorite.