Prime by Jessica Barksdale-Inclan
PRIME is set in a flooded world where global warming and other natural disasters have forever shifted the balance in society. It is up to a reluctant heroine to help right it. Lia Meloy is learning to swim, even though it’s outlawed for her kind. Lia is a Homesteader (nicknamed a “Norm”), meaning her ancestors stayed on dry land when the floods hit, but eventually had to seek help and shelter from the Aqua Primes, who had developed better biology and technology for an oceanic world.
When Lia’s family moves to Prime land, she knows she should feel lucky, but life amongst the privileged set isn’t easy, especially at Berkmont High, where the students are constantly reminded that one wrong move could get them deported. Lia seems to be making wrong moves all the time. Training with her father to swim, for instance. Or falling for Trey Schaeffer, the son of the Property owner, whose sister Molly despises everything Norm.
But things are not always as they seem on the outside. When Lia’s father passes away, Lia discovers he was part of something bigger, something mysterious, and that there is much more at stake than she previously thought. Closely guarding her father’s greatest secret, Lia will have to reevaluate her worldview and make tough choices to keep her family, friends, and all of her people safe.
Prime is a familiar story and yet it felt alien. It was a possibility of a future I hadn’t considered. But Governments move on. People oppressed. You have the haves and the have not. Lia, an interesting way to spell it, is part of this haven’t world. Her father is plotting and striving to give his children something more.
It’s a story that is interesting and a roll-coaster for my between my logic and emotion. I was warring with the characters. It wasn’t until I reached the end did I realize I was feeling melancholy. I realize the story was making me think about the generations after me. It’s that kind of story.
I encourage that every take it for a read. I could have easily finished it in one sitting but life moves on. Even when I put it down my thoughts would drift back to them. This is the reality of their life and I, in the present, could have been the cause. It’s a sobering thought.
I give Prime 4 out 5.