Australian YA post-apocalyptic drama (Seventeen Series Book 1)

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
374 Pages
Reviewed on 08/12/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Suzanne was born in Perth Western Australia and as a young adult grew up in the small country town of Tom Price situated in the outback of Western Australia. Her current home is in Perth with her husband, two daughters and cat Abby.
Suzanne has a Bachelor of Science Degree, and her interests include watching movies, travelling, photography, running and reading. She also enjoys going to science fiction conventions!
Suzanne has an adventurous spirit and has had the opportunity to experience many exciting adventures including swimming with Whale Sharks on Ningaloo reef, climbing to Mt Everest base camp in Nepal, descending into one of the pyramids at Giza in Egypt, flying in a hot air balloon over the Valley of the Kings, parachuting from a plane at 12000 feet in York, Western Australia and sitting on the edge of an active volcano on Tanna island in Vanuatu!
In 2019 Suzanne has won the award for best Sci fi/Horror in an e-book in the New Apple literary awards for her YA novel Seventeen and received a bronze medal from Readers' Favorite for her novel The Pirate Princess and the Golden Locket.
In 2020, she was awarded a Book Excellence Award and International Independent Award in Pre-Teen Literature for the Pirate Princess and the Golden Locket and a Bronze Medal for Seventeen from Reader's Favorite.

Suzanne is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Travel Writers Association, Australian Society of Authors and the Australian Science Fiction Society.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Seventeen (Seventeen Series Book 1) is a work of post-apocalyptic and science fiction drama written for young adults by author Suzanne Lowe. As the opening novel to the series of the same name, Seventeen takes us to Australia and the famous outback in a world like none we’ve ever seen before. When a global virus kills every member of the population above the age of seventeen, the rules for life are obliterated. Desperate to survive this new children-led world and its many disasters, sisters Lexi and Hadley seek survival by shifting from the big city to a small town called Jasper’s Bay. But here the danger mounts in new, even more terrifying forms, putting the town and its residents in danger.

I was caught up right from the first moment by the fantastic concept and possibilities of Seventeen, and author Suzanne Lowe has only just touched the tip of the iceberg in this excellent and intriguing series opener. Lexi and Hadley provide a foil for one another with their often opposite personalities but they come together at just the right times to make the emotional power of the survival elements come through. In places, the novel is superbly tense and exciting, and at others, we have room to breathe and explore the interesting new social, economic and criminal systems that a world led by kids and teens presents. All of this set against the backdrop of a burnt-out and broken Australia makes Seventeen a unique read, suitable for YA fantasy, dystopia, and sci-fi fans of all ages.

Susan Sewell

Seventeen by Suzanne Lowe is a thriller about a viral epidemic that takes a toll on the human race. A plane crashes with cylindrical containers aboard that are busted open, and a virus begins spreading across the globe. Nothing seems to be able to slow it down or stop it. In its course, it is wiping out the population under the age of seventeen. After their parents die, two teenage sisters and their newly acquired dog travel away from their home and the city in which they were raised. Their objective is to find a safer environment in which to live. There is a small town that is completely solar powered a few miles outside of the city. They feel that it would be the best location for them under their present circumstances.

However, when they arrive at their destination, they are met with unexpected hostility. With a little negotiation, they are allowed to stay there for a while. A gang came behind the newly arrived citizens of the town, wreaking havoc and mayhem with the small inhabitants. The arrival of the gang places the food supply and the residents' lives in jeopardy. The very young and inexperienced populace are fighting for their survival while defending their small community from the loathsome barbarians that are endangering their homes and defiling their property. Then, it seems that the virus has mutated and the older kids that were leading them have fallen victim to it. Without adult guidance, how will they survive?

Seventeen by Suzanne Lowe is a thrilling tale about a group of teens trying to survive and protect younger children after the results of a deadly virus. The book is captivating from the beginning and will hold the reader enthralled until the final word. How can children who know nothing about the world outside of their electronics make a life for themselves without help? The fact that adults would even have a difficult time without their devices gave me pause for thought. This is a fantastic book, and I recommend it to those who enjoy apocalypse stories with a dystopian undertone.

Romuald Dzemo

In Seventeen, Suzanne Lowe creates a terrifying world for readers to navigate, an environment that is barren and desolate, devoid of the amenities and the pleasures we enjoy in the world today. Everyone above the age of seventeen has been killed by a deadly virus. In the Australian outback, two sisters, Lexi and Hadley, feel like their life can never be the same again and they feel threatened as days go by. Now, they make the decision to find solace in the small town of Jasper's Bay. But can this seemingly quiet town offer them the protection they have been looking for? The reader is thrown into a world where crime is rank and rife and where there is no law. Follow these two sisters in a tale of betrayal, intrigue, and murder.

Suzanne Lowe’s writing is compelling and I enjoyed the vivid descriptions and her world building. She succeeds in awakening powerful emotions in readers, creating characters that are three-dimensional. It is interesting how the desolation of the setting reflects the mood of the key characters at some moments. The plot is gritty and gripping, well-imagined and executed with unusual skill. The dialogues are engaging and they feel natural. This is a book that made me think a lot of the world depicted in the movie “I am Legend.” Seventeen creates a seamless blend of adventure and dystopia, enabling readers to follow the tale of survival of two sisters in a dangerous world. The feeling that anything could go wrong at any moment permeates the entire narrative and the author makes great use of this feeling to drive the plot and keep readers utterly engaged. This is a delightful read indeed.

Christian Sia

Seventeen by Suzanne Lowe is an interesting story that follows two girls fighting for survival in a dying world. A virus has rendered the world a semi desert, killing everyone above the age of seventeen. As it hits Australia, two sisters - Lexi and Hadley - understand that their life isn’t safe anymore, so they move to the quiet town of Jasper's Bay, hoping to find security there. But the calmness of the town is just a façade that conceals a world of crime, and soon the two sisters will experience betrayal and murder. Do they have what it takes to survive in a harsh and unforgiving world where lawlessness goes unchecked?

This is a captivating story written in a style that is as crisp as it is interesting. The story starts with gripping sentences, making the reader know that things aren’t normal. And not long into the narrative, Lowe captures the severity of the conflict in an arresting way: “When the virus first hit our city, some people left town straight away, hoping to run from it. The problem was, there was nowhere to run to. The virulent disease had permeated into the earth’s atmosphere and spread worldwide.” The author creates a setting that will both delight readers and send shivers down their spines. It is attractive in a dangerous kind of way. Imagine a world without elders, a world in an utter state of devastation, and with teenagers, youngsters and babies left to themselves? This is the kind of world Suzanne Lowe’s characters inhabit. Readers will be grabbed by the pathos, the grit, and the flawless and evocative prose. I enjoyed every bit of this story, especially the unpredictability of the plot.

Rabia Tanveer

Seventeen by Suzanne Lowe is a dystopian novel set in a world ravaged by a virus that has destroyed the world as we know it. This is the story of two sisters who lost everything because of a virus called KV17 that kills anyone who is above 17 years of age. The devastation of this virus has now reached the home of two young girls named Lexi and Hadley, two sisters who lost their parents. They tried to maintain the safety of their home, but their house is no longer the sanctuary they thought it would always be.

With no parents, school or job, the sisters are no longer safe in their house. So they decide to take a bold action and leave home to find somewhere safe from the mutated beings that are roaming everywhere. They go to Jasper’s Bay, a small town where other teenagers like them have banded together for protection. However, Lexi soon realizes that nowhere is as safe as they would like to think. The world is destroying itself and there is nothing these teenagers can do. Unless someone rises above them all and takes a chance! But who will that be?

I loved this novel, although I am not a big fan of dystopian stories. There is something about the way it is written that had me hooked. The plot flowed smoothly and I enjoyed how the story had just the right pace to build my interest and keep me invested in the events. I particularly liked Lexi and how she took charge of the situation. I also enjoyed the little hints of humor along with the twisted, dark world that took the story to new heights! Simply fantastic! Very enjoyable!

Amanda Rofe

Seventeen by Suzanne Lowe is the first book in the Seventeen Series. A young adult post-apocalyptic novel set in Australia, it tells the story of two sisters struggling to survive after the planet has been struck by a catastrophic virus. The KV17 virus changes life forever for everyone by gradually killing off all the adults. Lexi and Hadley watch their parents die and then have to decide whether or not to remain in a city that feels increasingly hostile. After a break-in at their home, they flee and head for Jasper's Bay, a place that is run on solar power. On the journey, they pick up Jason, a teenager who is alone and in need of some friends. However, when they get there they are forced to deal with a violent group of thugs intent on destruction.

Seventeen is a dystopian novel which provides a contemporary spin on Lord of the Flies where the children have to organize themselves and survive on their own. It's an interesting concept to explore especially in light of today's digital technology and the ease with which we are able to access information. The kids still had food, water, and electricity in Jasper's Bay but that began to change towards the end of the book. It will be interesting to see how they manage further into the crisis. There were some gripping scenes such as where the very young Aboriginal boy had been captured by the bullies and was trying to escape. There is some knife violence which is rather brutal but, overall, violence is toned down to reflect the younger age group. I think that Suzanne Lowe writes a good first novel in an exciting series for teenagers.

Caitlin Lyle Farley

The KV17 virus emerges in a small town in northern Japan and spreads rapidly, killing all adults and leaving the teenagers and children to fend for themselves in Seventeen. Lexi Valentine and her younger sister Hadley are average Australian teenagers when the news of a mysterious illness first appears on the media. Over the following few months, they outlive both their parents and experience the slow breakdown of society as schools close, electricity supply becomes intermittent, and the phone lines and internet stop working. After the second break-in by a looter, Lexi and Hadley are forced to admit that Perth has become too dangerous and leave the city, hoping to find safety in the smaller towns.

Suzanne Lowe’s debut novel, Seventeen, is a heartfelt dystopian story about surviving a total collapse of society and infrastructure. Lexi, Hadley, and the friends they make on their journey from the city are convincing, as are the more lawless and miscreant characters they encounter terrorizing the town of Jasper’s Bay. Somewhat awkward prose, in which the characters tend to make decisions by speaking to themselves, doesn’t detract from the overall thoughtfulness and relatability of this markedly realistic dystopian novel. Lowe’s focus on the lifelike and personal relationships of the child and teenage survivors imbues Seventeen with a sense of intimacy within the story that makes the mingled hopefulness and dread of the bittersweet conclusion that much more profoundly felt. A unique and philosophical dystopian novel for YA readers, Seventeen is a promising start to Lowe’s Seventeen series.