Thursday, January 20, 2011

REVIEW: Grace by Elizabeth Scott

Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom. In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate.

Told in spare, powerful prose by acclaimed author Elizabeth Scott, this tale of a dystopian near future will haunt readers long after they've reached the final page.

I really adore Elizabeth Scott. I am sure to read anything she writes. But when I first started reading Grace, I wasn't so sure. I doubted that even Elizabeth Scott could pull off this story. I hadn't realised it was dystopian before reading, and at first, everything was a little confusing. I knew that Grace was on the run, but the specifics of what had happened and the different groups populating this new world were a little too strange at first. And then another few pages later and I was hooked. Such is the skill of Elizabeth Scott.

Grace is an Angel. Destined to be a type of suicide-bomber in the cause that she thinks she believes in. When it comes time though, she decides she would rather live. She knows that she can never go back to home as she knew it, so instead she finds herself on a train risking everything and forced to trust a mysterious stranger.

Not a lot actually happens in Grace. Instead we learn the history of Grace's past, how she came to be in this place and also that of her travelling companion, Kerr. Grace hasn't lived an easy life and you can see how her experiences really shape her into the person that she is. And Kerr is full of surprises as well. It can be hard to find your place in the novel, as it does go back and forth between before the failed-bomb incident and the present, where Grace and Kerr are escaping on the train, but stick with it, things will be less confusing and up in the air.

Maddeningly, we don't learn a great deal about the circumstances of how the world ended up in this place. With two main groups - one in political power and quite ruthless with a tyrant at it's helm, the other more environmental but the same ruthlessness. This lack of value of human life on both sides was quite sad to read but there's still such hope instilled in both Kerr and Grace. This isn't a very long book at all, but it's got more than I realised packed into it.

Despite my uncertainties, despite the lack of plot, Elizabeth will forever hold a place in my heart. With Grace, she maintains her rightful place on my list of favourite-ever authors.


  1. Sounds like an original twist on the angel books out there. I haven't read any Elizabeth Scott yet, but I know you enjoy them from your reviews. I will add to my list. ( You know I love an angel book!)

  2. Wow, that actually sounds like a kind of a cool book!

  3. Viv - OH NO! I didn't explain that very well. It isn't an angel book - When I say Grace is an 'Angel' I mean that's the name of a type of suicide bomber :( I do know how much you like angel books, but sadly, this is not one of them. Still a great book though.

    Holly - It IS a pretty cool book :)

  4. This sounds interesting - I like it when books give an insight into topical issues in a different context, and since this sounds really character driven I can see that being the case here. I haven't read anything by Elizabeth Scott yet but I'm constantly amazed by how different all of her books sound.

  5. Lauren - Yes, this one is pretty character driven - and I'm pretty amazed by her as well. Such variety, I can't believe it sometimes.

  6. Can you believe it, I've never read any of Elizabeth Scott's books yet. I have heard a lot of good things about her though and this one sounds like something I'd probably chance! I don't think I'd necessarily start with this as a first time Elizabeth Scott read though! Still, I enjoyed reading your review and will probably get around to reading this at some stage!

  7. Tammy - Oh you should definitely read Elizabeth Scott! She's incredible and deserves her place on my list of favourite YA authors. For her writing, for how different all of her books are from each other.


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