SciFi Book Review and Interview: Stung by Bethany Wiggins

Stung by Bethany Wiggins

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 wrist-a black oval with five marks on either side-that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. And she’s right. When the honeybee population collapsed, a worldwide pandemic occurred and the government tried to bio-engineer a cure. Only the solution was deadlier than the original problem-the vaccination turned people into ferocious, deadly beasts who were branded as a warning to un-vaccinated survivors. Key people needed to rebuild society are protected from disease and beasts inside a fortress-like wall. But Fiona has awakened branded, alone-and on the wrong side of the wall . . .

Fiona has no memory of the past several years. We learn along with Fiona what has been happening recently and why. There are terrifying beast-like humans who only seem to want to kill. There are humans living underground, only biding their time before they turn into the beasts. The militia waits along the wall, protects those inside from the horrors of the outside. But the raiders who are even more terrifying than the infected are the ones who Fiona really wants to stay away from. After Fiona is captured by the guard, her markings show her to be the most dangerous of the infected. But she’s far from the mindless beasts that they’re used to. And an old classmate begins to form a relationship with Fiona, while keeping watch over her.

This post-apocalyptic dystopia is a dark, intense story. With engaging characters and an exciting, emotional journey, Stung is a fast-paced adventure that is impossible to put down. Teens and adults alike with enjoy this science fiction thriller. With several twists along the way, the suspense builds to a climactic and satisfying finale. A sequel is scheduled for release in 2014, and I’ll certainly be adding it to my watch list.

Bethany Wiggins Interview:

Can you tell us a bit about Stung in your own words?

Stung is the dystopian book that can happen tomorrow. It’s about a girl who is from our normal every-day world, who finds herself thrust into a vastly different, violent, terrifying world, and has to try and survive.

Where did the idea of linking a pandemic to honeybees come from?

A few years ago, I got a Discovery Magazine that talked about the decline of bees. At the same time, the swine flu scare was running rampant through the USA. I watched these crazy people on the news who were swarming health departments, frantic to the point of violent to get the swine flu vaccine for their kids, and it made me wonder, “What if the government told us there is this huge flu to scare us into taking a vaccine that is really going to harm us? And what if it was linked to the honeybee decline?” And that’s how a major part of the plot was hatched.

Can you talk about the mutation that develops?

Sure. The bees are genetically modified to withstand all their natural predators, to withstand pesticides, to be stronger, and to have a more lethal sting. This combination is a little too lethal, and they mutate into an insect with a sting that causes flu-like symptoms in stung humans that eventually lead to death.

Will there be a sequel or series for Stung?

Yes there will. It is called CURED and it comes out next year.

What’s next for you, besides your Stung novels? Any other stories on the horizon?

I always have a story or two brewing in my mind, but currently I am not writing anything.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in writing.

I’m a mom, a wife, and didn’t know what I wanted to be “when I grew up” until I was about 29 years old. That’s when I was dared by my sister to try writing a book in a year. I discovered I loved to create my own stories even more than I liked reading other people’s and worked really hard until I got published several years later.

Who are some of your favorite authors? What books do you love?

Robert Jordan, Patricia McKillip’s The Changeling Sea, Robin McKinley’s Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword, Frank Herbert’s Dune, Catherine Paterson’s Jacob Have I Loved, Pride and Prejudice, and Janette Rallison (I love anything she writes).

Thanks for your time! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for having me on here!

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