Violet Black by Eileen Merriman
The first in a new trilogy for young adults from prolific New Zealand writer Eileen Merriman, Violet Black is set in the near future. After a fall in vaccination rates for measles in the 2010s, it results in a measles epidemic. Many years later, a new, deadlier strain of measles begins to circulate – M-fever. There are no effective vaccines yet, and many young people are dying.
Violet Black and Ethan Wright contract the disease and are in a coma before pulling through. But they soon discover they have telepathic abilities to read other people’s minds, enhanced cognition, and they have a special connection with each other that transcends being about to communicate silently.
But then Violet and Ethan discover more teenagers like them, and it’s not long before they are kidnapped by the sinister Foundation and sent to a remote facility in Australia.
Violet Black hits all the right notes for a thrilling read that teenagers (and older readers) will enjoy. There is romance and action, a deadly pandemic and controversial vaccines, big money and manipulation. And at the heart of the story is a group of ordinary teenagers, suddenly ripped from their families and grappling with abilities that will change their lives forever.
I can’t wait to read the next instalment – I’m hooked!
Reviewer: Karen McMillan
Penguin Random House