by Amy Christine Parker
Do the gates keep the unchosen out or the chosen in?
In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members of the flock. They moved here following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned:
Pioneer is her leader.
Will is her Intended.
The end of the world is near.
Like Noah before him, Pioneer has been told of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must arm themselves to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the compound's underground fortress--the Silo.
Lyla loves her family and friends, but given the choice, she prefers painting to target practice. And lately she'd rather think about a certain boy outside the compound than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But with the end of days drawing near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side, and let everyone know where she stands.
Gated was a new genre for me. I have always been intrigued by cults and religions that think that they have to take their followers behind closed gates. Like in the blurb, is this to keep others out or them in? I have never understood people giving their everything; body, soul and mind to a person who believes they are like the Messiah. Being a Christian myself and having a personal relationship with Christ, I don’t follow any “man” I follow Christ.
I admired Lyla. From the very beginning you can see her inter turmoil about what was right and what was required of her to stay at Mandrodage Meadows. Pioneer, their leader, was suave and manipulative. He was the only one who could watch any news or give them any information about the outside world. He was so scared that someone would come in from the outside and disturb there life. Pioneer was great at taking advantage of those who have had something traumatic happen to get them to join him. Pioneer had convinced everyone that in order to survive, they will need to lock themselves into the silo that they had constructed for the end of times that was expected in about 3 months.
One day the outside world came in and the sheriff and his son came to visit. Lyla was asked to give his son Cody a tour of Mandrodge Meadows and ends up falling head over heals for him. Lyla lets Cody know that she will be in town for a supplies, so that they could run into each other and when they do things things go down hill from there for Lyla. Eventually, Pioneer turns everyone against Lyla and they all make the decision to fight the sheriff. Things get really bad and Pioneer changes his plans from keeping everyone alive in the silo to him killing everyone in the name of "The Brethren".
I really liked this story. Again, I am very interested in cultist religions and I am intrigued by the mindless following of a "leader". This story was definitely a page turner for me and I was not disappointed even to the scary last words that Pioneer spoke to Lyla. When I closed the book I immediately messaged Amy and asked if we will be seeing another book and she said yes. But now I have to wait on that one. :( If this type of book interest you, check it out. I believe you will love it. I know I did!
AMY CHRISTINE PARKER earned her degree in elementary education at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and then proceeded to try out many different jobs, including collectible doll maker, fondue waitress, and inner-city schoolteacher. It wasn't until she became a mom and began making up bedtime stories for her children that she finally realized what she was meant to do. Now Amy writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one ridiculously fat cat. Her first novel, GATED, debuts with Random House Children's August 6, 2013. Visit her at amychristineparker.blogspot.com.
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