If there is one thing that seventeen-year-old Rain knows and knows well, it is survival. Caring for her little brother, Walker, who is "Touched," and losing the rest of her family to the same disease, Rain has long had to fend for herself on the bleak, dangerous streets of Earth City. When she looks to the stars, Rain sees escape and the only possible cure for Walker. And when a darkly handsome and mysterious captain named Johnny offers her passage to the Edge, Rain immediately boards his spaceship. Her only price: her "willingness."
The Void cloaks many secrets, and Rain quickly discovers that Johnny's ship serves as host for an underground slave trade for the Touched . . . and a prostitution ring for Johnny's girls. With hair as red as the bracelet that indicates her status on the ship, the feeling of being a marked target is not helpful in Rain's quest to escape. Even worse, Rain is unsure if she will be able to pay the costs of love, family, hope, and self-preservation.
With intergalactic twists and turns, Cori McCarthy's debut space thriller exists in an orbit of its own.
WOW! I'm not quite sure where to start...I don't want to give too much away. The Color of Rain is a dystopian sci-fy that kept me up all last night. I couldn't stop until I finished it.
On earth, its full of ash and everything is grey. They produce items but they can't grow anything. Also, what we know as Alzheimers has revolved genetically and anyone can get it - they are called the Touched. If you are Touched, it's a death sentence. You gradually lose your mind. Rain's younger brother, Walker, is Touched and she has heard that the Mecs, a superior race on another planet, can cure him. She wants to get him there, but she's broke. She has no alternative in her mind but to trade her virginity and her body to get the funds she needs to book them both passage.
Things don't quite work out that way though when Rain bumps into handsome Johnny . He's been looking for a true redhead for ages so he bargains quickly with Rain. He'll take them both to the Edge, the area where the Mecs are, but she'll be his girl. Walker will be frozen for the trip so he doesn't cause any problems and his disease doesn't progress. Rain knows its the best deal she's likely to get and is excited about going into space.
Then, she finds out the truth about Johnny and his girls. Ben, the Mec on the ship, has everyone scared but Rain isn't scared of him. She becomes friends with Ben and he tries to guide her the best way he knows how to keep her safe. Rain is a strong person though and knows if she is to save her brother, she'll have to play Johnny's games. What she doesn't count on is the emotional and physical trauma he puts her through.
There is so much more that happens but I don't want to spoil anything. Prostitution in space, supreme beings, crazy bad-ass world-building, complex characters, romance, intrigue and more are to be found within these pages. Because of some of the situations, I would rate this book as New Adult, not Young Adult. Nonetheless, it's freaking fantastic. I can't wait for McCarthy's next book!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.