Courtney Farrell is a biologist who turned her love of books into a career as an author. She has published fourteen nonfiction books, and three exciting novels for young people. Courtney lives with her husband and sons on a Colorado ranch where they enjoy a menagerie of horses, dogs, cats, and chickens. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
An epidemic strikes. Pox hit women the hardest, so females are rare. Healthy girls are worth a fortune. Most live in squalid basement harems. Jackie is the last free girl, chief of a gang of teen boys. To them, she’s the prize, infinitely desirable, the last woman on earth. Competition threatens to tear the crew apart. To make things worse, the boys are starting to think she’s crazy. Jackie is convinced that the same soul shines from the eyes of every infected person, slipping like a demon from one body to the next, stalking her. Is she losing her mind, or could an unseen enemy control the infected?
Pox could be the least of her worries. When rival gangs discover that their little band has one of the last surviving girls, Jackie must make a decision. Will she give herself up to save her crew, or take off alone through the streets?
What honestly made me want to read Bait was Courtney Farrell's bio. She's a scientist, a biologist, to boot! That reassured me this novel would not only be well-researched but have a strong sense of realism accompanying it, especially with it talking about a possible apocalyptic future.
After reaching the end much too quickly, I decided I wanted to see this in movie form. I don't think there will be much editing or rewriting needed to do so, it's written that well. Says something when despite the rather massive book, it took me about half a day to get through it, and would have been much quicker if I didn't have other stuff to do. Fantastic would be a mild word.
Jackie is sixteen, yet she's no child. The pox has forced her to grow up and lead a group of boys, protect, them, feed them, guide them. It's only Joe, an elderly man, who helps her along the way. Otherwise, she provides for everyone or they all die.
It seems strange to Jackie that she doesn't get sick. Stranger still that she can look at people or animals and see who is infected or not. Worse yet, the pox seems to be chasing her, like preferred prey. Is there some sort of intelligence behind it? She seems to think so.
While holed up in their territory, she discovers one of her younger crew has an infected wound and is dying. She feels she has no choice but to risk finding him antibiotics and in doing so, stumbles on the biggest secret about the pox. And it's something that will affect all the lives of any living organisms left on earth.
Science is, as it often is, at the center of this plague on humanity. It's when morality is forgotten and sentient beings are just organisms roaming the earth that man's experimentation goes wild and becomes unconscionable. It's not science per se that's at fault. That's like saying guns or drugs kill while not acknowledging that there are people behind these weapons who just wield them more proficiently or inhumanely than others, causing more destruction. People without morals cause the pain.
But can man win in a war like this? Is the capacity and will to survive enough? Looking at real life, a good guess is yes. With Jackie, her back against the wall, she has no choice to fight or lose the only family she has left. I hope she has the strength in the next few installments to come as well!
Bait is a book I soooo don't regret reading and I'm very glad that Courtney Farrell has created such a story. What comes next for Jackie, Dakota, and Keenan is something I'm very much looking forward to.