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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 4 May 2015
This is one of those books which is totally under-appreciated. It’s one of my absolute favourites, and it’s insanely well thought-out and unique. But, more importantly right now, the love interest is a fox. LITERALLY, A FOX. Mara goes exploring a long forgotten and abandoned internet world, which is kind of like a 3D Sims land, and she meets a fox avatar of another user who is also exploring these internet ruins. (I know it sounds weird….trust me, it makes sense in the book.)

It takes the ‘internet romance’ trope to a completely different level of amazing, and the cyberfox….GOD. GOD. (Yes, that’s all I’m going to be able to say about any of these choices, but can you blame me?!?)
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What if everything you've heard about global warming is true -- and we haven't done enough to change the course of events?

Mara is a fifteen-year-old girl who lives on the island of Wing. The polar ice caps are melting, flooding most of the earth. What is left of Mara's primitive island is rapidly being claimed by the rising tide. Among the ruins of an abandoned cyberworld Mara meets another, someone who promises her that there is a safe haven in the New World.

Mara convinces the people of her island that their only chance for survival is to sail north, where the sky cities can provide shelter against the rising storms and tides. However, they arrive to find that walls have been built around the city and that they are just a few of the refugees who are gathered around, hoping for entry. Life in the boat camp is a grim existence. Illness, hunger and death have penetrated the lives of Mara's group. Overwhelmed with guilt, Mara sets out to find a way to save her friends.

With a little help, Mara makes her way inside the gates and sets about to infiltrate the New World city of New Mungo. How can one girl face such insurmountable odds and save her people against a formidable adversary? Can she really take on an entire city to save her friends? If only she could find her cyberworld acquaintance, maybe he could help Mara.

EXODUS is a sobering reminder of the future we face if global warming is allowed to continue unchallenged. Julie Bertagna has presented a somber picture of what life may be like in the year 2099. She has balanced desperation with the enduring power of hope. When humans have hope, no challenge seems too difficult to face. The stark subject of the story is balanced with a fluid writing style that keeps you turning the pages and hoping for the best. EXODUS is already an international best seller and is being released to US readers in April 2008.

This is one of those stories that will stay with you forever.

Reviewed by: JodiG.
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on 30 January 2011
Mara's island home is drowning as the ice caps melt and Earth loses its land to the ocean. But one night, in the ruined virtual world of the Weave, Mara meets the mysterious Fox - a fiery eyed boy who tells her of the sky cities that rise from the sea. Mara sets sail on a daring journey to find a new life for herself and her friends - instead she discovers a love that threatens to tear her apart...

I do like this book, it is very thought provoking and quite terrifying if this is what the future is going to be like due to Global Warming!
It is set 89 years into the future, following a girl, Mara grow into womenhood while she fights to save those who are dear to her from the terror of the ocean swallowing up the world's land. It is a story about her journey doing this, while she grows up to quickly due to the responsibility she shoulders.

I only gave it three stars because although the characters are well developed and the storyline is great, it wasn't fast paced at first. It was interesting, but I wasn't hooked. It was page 256 where suddenly the pace changed and I was sucked into the story like I was there, racing alongside Mara and her new friends to save themselves. That is just my personal opinion. It was a fantastic book and the many chapters before that page were relevant and important as it describes the past and what is happening now in this magic world as Mara starts her journey, so without it, it wouldn't be as a great a book.
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on 28 January 2008
Absolutely adored this book, beautifully written. Looking at it, it wouldn't usually be one i'd buy, but a friend of my mum's gave me a load she'd read and exodus was among them. So glad she gave me the chance to read it, it has to be my favourite book of all time. It's been brilliantly thought out. It not only brings us face to face with the issues that could easily sweep our world if we don't act now, but it also brings in a story of one girl's desperation to survive. Brought a tear to my eye when she had to leave her home, and lost so many people alone the way. Really regretted every time I put the book down, and couldn't leave it put down for long. I just had to read more. Definite 5 star for this book, how ever I don't think 5 stars could ever express my love of this book. It opened my eyes to the issues we could face, and that maybe if we keep on going the way we are this piece of fiction could scarily become one piece of fact. Fantastic novel.

I have just one question regarding this book, that got me thinking. At one point David mentions he's never seen a real tree and that he doesn't think there are many (if any) left in existence, so where does the oxygen come from for these people to survive?
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 April 2012
In 2100, the floods have risen, conspiring with prolongued winters and massive long lasting storms to drive those last people who cling on to the land to let go and abandon the final scraps of trees and grass for a treacherous life on the sea. Legend has it that to the south there are cities towering above the waves, where there is safety and food. But it isn't an easy decision to make. What the survivors need is a strong young voice, someone foretold perhaps, who can persuade her elders to let go. Mara is that person.

Confined for weeks at a time due to storms outside her cottage on the ever shrinking island of Wing, this teenage girl draws comfort from her `Globe' - an artefact from almost forgotten, drier times when there was still power, communication and infrastructure. Through it, she enters the Weave, a virtual universe that remembers the past and is populated by its fragments as well as a few people who can roam there as cyberbeings, among them Mara. While there, she encounters Fox who offers hope from one of these bright cities and she decides to follow his voice.

And so Exodus, the first of Julie Bertagna's Young Adult dystopia series begins. This first novel creates a brilliantly visualised world, mostly of water but containing little pieces of land while also hinting at the horrors, now glowing with some kind of creepy organic phosphorescence, that still fester deep below in the oceans. There are cities, cars and people down there, caught as the seas rose.

However, when Mara's boat reaches her goal, the city towering above the water, it is not as she would have wished. Refugees loiter in great numbers at the base of the pillars while pirates patrol the waters and police hunt. Small orphans are more at home in the water, with traces of sleek hair on the bodies as well as gills and webbed fingers and toes. Only the privileged few are safe in the white cities, where they live connected to some kind of elaborate intranet that creates wealth they don't need.

Living beneath the city are the Treenesters, making a home amongst the highest points of Glasgow. Led by an old woman who remembers the past, these tree people lead a dangerous life, scavenging what they can from museums, reading what they can from libraries, and watching from church spires for a person or prophet. It is not just the islanders who look to Mara for freedom.

Exodus is a fine novel indeed. Julie Bertagna brings to life circles of settlement - the islands, the refugees, the Treenesters - all trying to reach the towering city. And inside there we have the Fox himself who, with the help of Mara, conceives a great plan. The novel is a high adventure with some thrilling scenes but the real strength of the book is in the societies that can be found in these few remaining pockets of life. The Treenesters in particular are wonderfully visualised, as are the feral orphans darting around in the water like fish, saving artefacts from the museum like jewels, even rescuing a giant apeman of all things. It's incongruous but it's moving.

Dystopian young adult novels are known for their strong young leaders, pulling survivors together in the most harrowing circumstances. Exodus is the beginning of an excellent series and Mara is wonderful company. Next is Zenith.
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on 15 April 2004
Exodus is a great book about a time in the future when global warming had melted antartica and the whole world had been flooded by the rising waters,the only people left are those who were on extremely high ground - maria's village.The story tells the tale as the village atempt to escape a horrible death and flee from there town in seek of refuge from the flood - a huge floating city that the older members remember plans of,but even if they do find the city, surely they would not be allowed on board for risk of sinking?
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on 14 June 2006
Mara lives on the island of Wing in the Atlantic Ocean - an island slowly drowning. The Earth's last polar icecaps are melting away, and the islanders have little hope left.

Mara hears about towering sky cities called the New World, that are out of reach of the raging ocean. She sparks new hope in the islanders.

That same day she is playing on her cyberwizz in the Weave (equivalent to the Web) when she falls accidentally into Cyberspace. She meets a fox there, and confirms her belief of the New World.

The islanders set off for the New World, but when they reach it, the sight horrors them. They have to live in a Boatcamp, where disease is as common as the rats and urchins. Mara is found by an Urchin and taken to safety.

She meets the strange Treenesters, and finds she is part of a bizarre legend; the Stone Telling. She has the face of the stone, Thenew, and the Treenesters believe she will save the people of the Netherworld (the Treenesters) and the Refugees in the Boat Camp.

Mara hatches a plan, and gets into the sky city. She has to think fast and avoid being found out. Then, when she least expects it, she meets the human presence of the Cyberfox, a reason she came to the New World.

Will she be able to save the treenesters - or even herself? A gripping story from start to finish, it raises the questions about climate change - and its consequences if we don't act soon.
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on 21 June 2009
I found this book fairly interesting, it has an fascinating plot and is well formulated. The description of the settings/places were excellent. The beginning chapters are fantastic they hook you in straight away. But it's a shame as it doesn't carry on this way. At points it doesn't grip you enough and you have to make yourself carry on reading. Also I thought the ending was a bit rushed. To improve it Mara's feelings should have been more realistic. Has its good and Bad bits.
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on 5 September 2005
Exodus is a brilliant book. All those who say it is poorly written are wrong. I read this book a few years ago, and it still ranks as the top one on my list, never mind about Harry Potter. I would recommend this book for all ages. The main character, Mara, is lost when she has to leave her home to go to a place that will not welcome her in. She manages to leave that place and head north, but with more complications, as she is torn between 3 men....
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on 20 January 2006
I am doing a whole topic on this book in school and i have been through it several times, enough to appreciate every aspect of this book. i thought it was great.
just in reply to one of the other reviewers, i believe there is a sequel in the making right now but i cant be 100% sure. This book was only recently published so you cant expect a sequel straight away.
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