Tuesday, February 17, 2015

ARC Review: Kalahari

Title: Kalahari
Series: Corpus
Author: Jessica Khoury
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Source: ARC from Penguin Teen
Rating:  ☆☆☆☆

Deep in the Kalahari Desert, a Corpus lab protects a dangerous secret…
But what happens when that secret takes on a life of its own?

When an educational safari goes wrong, five teens find themselves stranded in the Kalahari Desert without a guide. It’s up to Sarah, the daughter of zoologists, to keep them alive and lead them to safety, calling on survival know-how from years of growing up in remote and exotic locales. Battling dehydration, starvation and the pangs of first love, she does her best to hold it together, even as their circumstances grow increasingly desperate.

But soon a terrifying encounter makes Sarah question everything she’s ever known about the natural world. A silver lion, as though made of mercury, makes a vicious, unprovoked attack on the group. After a narrow escape, they uncover the chilling truth behind the lion’s silver sheen: a highly contagious and deadly virus that threatens to ravage the entire area—and eliminate life as they know it.

In this breathtaking new novel by the acclaimed author of Origin and Vitro, Sarah and the others must not only outrun the virus, but its creators, who will stop at nothing to wipe every trace of it.

My Review

Sometimes you find a book that's so wonderful that you don't want to put it down because you're anxious to see how everything happens. Sometimes that same book can also make you really want to slow down and savor it just because of how good it is. Kalahari by Jessica Khoury is one of those books.
Kalahari, a companion book to the books in the Corpus series, can either be read as part of the series or as a standalone novel. Trust me on this because I haven't read any of the other books in the series, and I didn't have any problems understanding the plot because it is a very independent but still related book. Although I will say that after reading Kalahari, I will be picking up the other books in the series to get a little more insight into the world that Khoury has created.

Now that I've mentioned the plot, I must say that it is absolutely amazing. The story of Sarah Carmichael and five other teens in the Kalahari is emotional, thrilling, and down-right adventurous. When Sarah's dad goes missing, she and five other teens, Miranda, Kase, Sam, Joey, and Avani, find themselves alone in the semi-desert with a huge problem waiting for them, and it's not just the silver lion. There's the natural elements, poachers, and a crazy group of people that the kids will try to outrun and outsmart. Khoury surprises readers with one intense event after another in this electrifying story.

The characters in Kalahari are a diverse group of teens and adults who represent different cultures and different walks of life. There's Sarah Carmichael who was born to a Kiwi dad and an American mom. Together, the three of them have lived in numerous remote locations to research and study wildlife. There's also Sarah's dad's assistant, Theo, who is a bushman who has spent his entire life in the Kalahari. Sarah is also introduced to five teens so that her dad's program can be funded. One day, she meets Sam, Miranda, Kase, Joey, and Avani. The five teens are all very different, but they all bring something unique to this survival tale.

I love Khoury's use of imagery in this book. The way she describes the places and the animals in Kalahari is almost magical, and I could imagine myself walking alongside the characters.

Even if you're not a fan of science fiction, give this book a try. It's not very heavy on the science fiction, but acknowledges and warns us that crazy things can happen when humans try to create something new. When you sit back and reflect on what you've read, you'll find a compelling tale about saving the world, family, friendship, and love. 

About Jessica Khoury

Jessica Khoury wrote her first book at age 4, a fan fic sequel to Syd Hoff's Danny and the Dinosaur, which she scribbled on notebook paper, stapled together, and placed on the bookshelf of her preschool classroom. Since that day, she's dreamed of being an author.

When not writing, Jess enjoys spending time with family, playing video games, and traveling the world in search of stories and inspiration.

Jess currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina. She is the author of Origin, Vitro, and forthcoming Kalahari.


  1. Great review, girl! This does sound very interesting - I like a good survival story, and the science fiction aspects are definitely intriguing. Plus the cover is kinda lovely.
    Thank you for your thoughts!

    1. Thank you, Danielle! :)

      I liked that it wasn't too heavy on the science fiction and more about the survival. And I agree! I love the cover.

  2. This book sounds really interesting! Thanks for the review and mentioning that it can work as a standalone--I've never been clear on if Khoury's books were companions to each other or not.

    1. I really liked it, and thought it was a cute but still fulfilling adventure/survival story.

      You're welcome. I was unsure about it when it came in the mail, so I figured it would be a good thing to mention. It makes me feel better about now reading them out of order.

  3. This is one of those book on my Wish List that I keep meaning to buy! It sounds so good!

    1. That's so awesome! I haven't read the other companion books to this series yet, but they are on my to buy list.

      I hope that you love this book! :)


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