The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers is modern fiction with a apocalyptic premise; it is the tale of a teenage girl faced with a dying world and a great desire to do some now to help make sure there is a future, but her parents just aren’t ready to let her grow up.
First off, thank you so much to Ria at Bibliotropic for hosting the giveaway that landed me with this book. I had forgotten about it and it was an awesome surprise to find two books in my mailbox when I had only expected one :D. The Testament of Jessie Lamb wasn’t quite what I was expecting (I had thought there would be more apocalypse and less modern fiction elements) but it was still very enjoyable and probably good for me to get out of my normal genres a little! :D
Title: The Testament of Jessie Lamb
Author: Jane Rogers
Pages: 240 (paperback)
Genre-ish: Modern Fiction/Apocalyptic sci-fi
Rating: ★★★★☆ – Moving plot and characters
Setting: In the (very) near future a bio-terrorist attack has infected the entire world. This disease, however, spares most people; it only destroys the brains of women when they become pregnant. A way of producing babies has been discovered, however while it spares the child, the mothers still never wake up from their comas.
Premise: Jessie Lamb is a 16 year old girl taking classes and crushing on a boy until women start dying. The world starts falling apart, and she does what any teenager mad at the world would do: she joins an activist group. That’s not the answer she’s looking for though, and as more research reveals hope for the future, she makes a decision that her parents don’t think she is ready to make yet.
- I really like the format of The Testament of Jessie Lamb. It is written from two time perspectives: Jessie in the present, being held prisoner basically, and Jessie relating what happened that brought her to the decision she made.
- Jessie’s character develops smoothly and wonderfully as the book progresses and I found myself being very convinced by her telling of her journey.
- While you know where things are headed for most of the novel, I still cried at the end, which means it must have been moving :D.
- I also really liked the premise, it seemed like an original twist on the world-wide pandemic idea. And as a hobby biologist, I was content with the explanation given for the disease’s behavior.
- About half way through The Testament of Jessie Lamb I found myself not wanting to pick up the book. I think this was due to a combination of it being a little slow and rather depressing, but I got beyond that point pretty easily.
- That being said, the ending is pretty much obviously depressing and very much not a happy fairy tale, be warned.
- There were several times where the very authentic English dialects were so thick that I didn’t understand what the slang they were using meant. It was only a few words here and there, but a little bit more help for us Americans would have been nice, like maybe a glossary :D.
As I said before, The Testament of Jessie Lamb was more modern fiction with a apocalyptic sci-fi premise than anything else. It was fairly peaceful pacing, and all of the tension was from Jessie needing to make decisions, not from any immediate external peril. The writing is compelling and easy to follow, so it was quite pleasant for me to read on the long plane rides I had, but I would be careful of where you read the ending unless you like crying in public :D.
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The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers
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