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Oxla and the Boogie Boo Juice Paperback – January 5, 2013
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After her friend that works for the paper is killed for putting the story out, Oxla has to flee for her life.
Her world is one in which genetically-modified and spliced creatures were created in droves of experiments and eventually released into the wild during a war. She lives in a city which is on an island in the middle of a vast lake. The city is protected by walls and drones to keep the vicious animals out.
Oxla ventures out into the swamps around the city with a friend of her passed away dad in order to train to fight and defend herself. She's terrible at it. But knows how to dance, which somehow helps her.
She battles with giant bat winged jaguars, Neanderthals, crab men, ghost bees, maggot hybrid boa constrictors, and all kinds of other Frankenstein type creatures.
Her love interest Bota is kind of flamboyant and likes to sing and gets jealous easily. But he has a charming side.
I thought it was a pretty good story because so many things connect in ways you don't expect. There's a lot of twists and thrills. You'll like it if you're a reader of dystopian fiction.
If you documented every wound and cut to her clothes, by the end, Oxla should be naked and one big scar. I am not sure she would be alive with all of the acid and poison that gets on her.
When she is running through the subway tunnels, she throws the machete down one tunnel to mislead the mutants following her. Then in the next scene, she has the machete to chop down branches in the jungle.
If you want action for actions sake, you may like this book. But as a story, with even average writing, I would say, "skip it!"
The story is about a teenage girl who was a test-subject but escaped from the lab. She looked up to the janitor at the lab as a mother-figure, because the janitor used to show Oxla dance steps from the other side of the glass that separated them. After the janitor helped Oxla escape, she put Oxla in the care of her boyfriend. Both of them have since disappeared, and Oxla lives in a group home when the story opens.
When Oxla think she's helping the butcher who she works for with two robbers, she's actually aggravating the local cartel who are extorting the butcher shop. So the butcher fires her, and she asks her friend at the group home to help her find another job. The friend puts a story about it on the newspaper's website, and the cartel sends a sneaky lizard-like girl named Teehee to the group home to kill Oxla.
While Oxla gets chased all through the streets of the island city she lives in, she runs into Amou, who's this old timer boxing coach. He's actually standing in the street, watching an old fight in a future-type of device that covers one eye, and he's carrying on throwing punches like he's the one fighting.
At first, Oxla doesn't really trust him, but she's got no choice. Then Amou helps her out with some creep that wants to sell her as a snack to genetic hybrid roach guys. Amou insists on training Oxla to fight and defend herself. Oxla is actually horrible at fighting. But she can jump rope well and has rhythm from dancing with the janitor while in the lab. Once Oxla starts to think of fighting in terms of dancing and rhythm, she gets better. They train in rainforest swamps and fight with kangaroo people and use dinosaur-size turtles' shells for punching bags.
But after the cartel's henchman and Teehee find Oxla training, Amou sends her with a young hunter Bota Jupitar out into the far reaches of the swamps to train with witchdoctors. As Oxla's place in the cartel's schemes get discovered, Oxla has to face a fight more gruesome that she ever imagined. And deal with Bota's feeling for her, and her feelings toward him.
I learned some interesting things in the tie-in website with the articles by Oxla about wild cutting edge science, and it's all written well and clear, but not well developed in the book how Oxla knows about that stuff, only that she was a test-subject in a science lab--buy maybe that's going to be developed in another book, as this seems like it's probably the beginning of a series. Which could be really cool, because there's some far out twists at the end that I don't want to spoil, but I would be really interested to see them further explained in another book. Really fantastic read overall though. If you enjoy young adult science fiction and action stories, you should buy this book.