‘Land of the Unaltered’ – Leti Del Mar
Rose comes from the capital of the Confederation of Cities where its citizens live in luxury and the greatest fashion statement of all is being Altered. People change everything about the way they look as often as they do their hairstyle but Rose is different. Her position of privilege has made her an outcast and led her to suspect that something sinister is happening to the citizens and flees the capital along with a past that imprisons her in search of a fresh start in the Land of the Unaltered.
Flynn lives in the Land of the Unaltered and hates the capitol and everything it stands for. So when a spoiled capital girl is assigned to work with him, he wants nothing to do with her and is prepared to make her life miserable. But Flynn was not prepared for someone like Rose. She doesn’t fit the mold he expected and finds himself strongly attracted to her. As she continues to surprise and outwit him, they begin to forge a bond that is tested when they discover a secret that could change everything they know about Land of the Unaltered.
This was an easy read to get in to with a mix between young romance and the dystopian setting. There is a fair bit of mystery and intrigue as the two main characters, Rose and Flynn, make some startling discoveries whilst working in the forest outside of the city of Eureka and, these elements combined, made this an enjoyable read.
The premise of this story really intrigued me and Leti Del Mar generally delivers in this first book of the ‘Confederation’ series. Set in an unspecified future, readers are presented with a society that has survived an outbreak and dispersed into different colonies. However, the ruling city, Civitas, is unique and different from other similar books I have read. This ruling city is governed by surgery as people happily alter themselves to keep up with the latest fashions. The author describes this city well and I could really picture the whacky clothing and surgery that the citizens would do to themselves just to fit in with the crowd.
The budding relationship between Rose and Flynn was really cute and I was so keen for them to realise their feelings for one another! Helped by the fact that we switch between their narratives, you really get an understanding of their misguided feelings and prejudices. Rose is keen not to show Flynn any weakness and stands up to the massive reading he gives her when she joins the lumber yard and so hides her frustrations until she leaves work each day. In contrast, Flynn cannot help his opinion that everyone from Civitas is spoiled and useless. Both became keen for the other to view them in a positive light and it was sweet to see them finally let their barriers down and get to know each other for who they really are.
The author does not give away too much about the past society and this was something I was keen to learn about. Given the way this book ends, I imagine this will truly be revealed in the next book which is why it didn’t have a massive impact on my overall rating. I did like the fact that Leti Del Mar keeps you wanting more and it is this interest that will carry over and left me keen to read the next book in the series.
This is an easy and inoffensive read. I have few criticisms of this book and whilst I found the romance side of the story a little predictable, I still enjoyed the mystery that built up around Civitas. Rose’s family background adds dimension to the story and it will be interesting to see how this influences events in the next book. ‘Land of the Unaltered’ is a solid read and one you could easily devour in an afternoon. It will be interesting to see what happens next!