Saturday, April 26, 2014

GUEST REVIEW: STUNG (Stung, #1) by Bethany Wiggins

Title: Stung
Series: Stung, #1
Author: Bethany Wiggins
Publisher: Walker Children’s
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Genres: YA, Dystopian, Sci-fi
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Ellen’s rating: 5/5


There is no cure for being stung.

Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered—her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She’s right.

Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.

Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.


Stung is a thrilling, sometimes horrific, yet romantic tale that captivated me from the very beginning. When Fiona Tarsis, the main character, wakes up on her own bed, everything is different. Her home seems to have been in a state of neglect and abandonment for a very long time, the outside world is a desolate wasteland populated by beasts, and she is no longer a thirteen-year-old girl.

This is the kind of start to a book that is bound to grab my attention and hold it until answers to the mystery are found. The author fortunately does not provide the answers right away but keeps the reader guessing throughout the story, only supplying all the pieces of the puzzle towards the end.

Stung presents a new and refreshing take on the futuristic, changed world theme. In this case the world isn't overrun by zombies, but by beasts. I, however, thought the raiders who roam the part of the city outside the wall, to be just as dangerous as the tattoo-marked beasts. Then there is the militia, supposed to be the good, law-keeping guys, whose loyalties are so doubtful that I wondered who the true beasts in this story were. As in all chaotic societies, there are those who will exploit the circumstances for personal gain.  

Fiona is a strong, realistic female lead. Dreyden Bowen, as the other main character, is a bit of an enigma in the beginning. Because of some genetic tampering with the natural order of things, siblings are forced to fight to the death, middle aged people are terminated when they get to the age of fifty-five, and families are split because of a simple tattoo.

For those who love a bit of romance in a book, Stung will more than satisfy you. As impossibly difficult and often heart breaking choices and sacrifices need to be made, you may need to keep the Kleenex close at hand.

For a never-a-dull moment read full of suspense and romance, I highly recommend Stung as a more than worthwhile read.



Bethany Wiggins has always been an avid reader, but not an avid student. Seriously! She failed ninth grade English because she read novels instead of doing her homework. In high school, she sat alone at lunch and read massive hardback fantasy novels (Tad Williams and Robert Jordan anyone?). It wasn't until the end of her senior year that the other students realized she was reading fiction--not the Bible.

Once upon a time, Bethany's sister dared her to start writing an hour a day until she completed a novel. Bethany wrote a seven-hundred page fantasy novel that she wisely let no one read--but it taught her how to write. Since then she has penned SHIFTING (2011), STUNG (2013), and CURED (2014).

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