The first in what could prove to be a long series from Soho Press has been recently released. Heather Terrell has created a story so similar to Hunger Games that you might find yourself, as I did picking out the differences just for entertainment–Mystery Science 3000 style. The injustices in the civilization surrounding relic are based on religion not government, the annual competition of young people is not so brutal as the Reaping, and the sibling of the heroine dies early in the story. Despite setting itself up for this kind of knit picking,
Relic tells a compelling story.
The world of Aerie is a post-apocalyptic, arctic society governed by fundamental religious laws. Eva has volunteered to participate in the Testing, an annual competition to determine which young person will become the next Chief Archon. If you are suffering from serious Hunger Games withdrawal, this book will satisfy some of your needs. However, the writing is a bit flat and falls short of the full drama and ironic humor that this setting would be capable of producing.
In short, if you must read it, the story will be fairly satisfying as long as you aren’t looking for a literary masterpiece.