Review The Plantation by Stella Samiotou-Fitzsimons

The Plantation by Stella Samiotou-Fitzsimons

  • review
  • 2014
  • novel
  • short
  • electronic book
  • sci-fi
  • young adult
  • sci-fi





The Plantation is a YA (young adult) oriented adventure novel in a sci-fi setting. It has the classical elements of friendship, love, doubts, and a relatively standard plot but, luckily, there is much more to it than that.

We are on Earth, an unspecified time in the future, after a sort of holocaust caused by an Alien invasion. The Planet is changed, the cities are destroyed; nature seems to be taking back what it was once taken from it. There are no specifics of what happened, how it happened, what humanity did to defend itself, or what the Aliens did to take over the planet.

The character we follow is Freya, a young girl put in a devastated world where the rules of old don't apply. She is part of a group of youngsters that call themselves The Saviors. Like her, everyone comes from a Plantation, unusual encampments where the invaders seem to make trials and experiments on young humans after they are taken from the breeding towns.

All the youngsters in the group are special in a way that goes beyond what one would expect. They seem to have been altered in different ways, giving them unique abilities that border on being special powers. Some are stronger than normal, others quicker, others have incredible acute senses, impossible sight or hearing clarity and ranges. Except for Freya, there seems to be nothing particular about her, nothing that sticks out, nothing to make her feel part of the group, the team.

The Plantation is mostly about Freya, her struggles, her doubts, her growing up. Her understanding of what role she plays in the team, of what she is truly capable of, of what she needs to do, to be, to become.

Stella's writing is very personal. We very much stare down into Freya's thoughts, we see her feelings up close, her childish tantrums, her sadness, her mounting doubts and suspicions. We see her thoughts form, how they tangle and mix worries with reality and too much imagination. It doesn't take long for the narrative to have a very natural feel to it, through her we see and hear everything that happens around her.

The Saviors have chosen that name because they see themselves as the ones that will help all the other children and youngsters escape from their Plantations, they know about 15, four are unreachable or too well defended. They have been preparing for years now, as their numbers increase, more escapees join them, they feel the time is coming to let the Aliens know about their existence, their self assigned mission.

Without their intention, after years of planning, months of preparation, it is but fate, or blind luck, that sets the wheels in motion. Too many things start to happen and in between Freya does not know who to trust any more. What to believe, if to be relieved or angry at being left behind. In the blink of an eye the true adventure starts and Freya's doubts and worries become the last of her problems. It is all or nothing now.

I personally liked the characters, they feel real, possible, believable. Stella's style is a little shocking at the beginning but it feels right after a few pages. The Plantation is a good story of self encounter, of leaving childhood behind, of maturing, of knowing --learning rather-- your place in the world. The best part is that it is barely the beginning of what promises to be a great adventure.

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