Afflicted (Tainted Earth #1) by Susanne Valenti (2017)
-eARC Review-


YA Fiction | Dystopian Sci-Fi
4 Stars

“Change carries on the wind, flows through the rivers and grows in the heart of the storm. Once it is set free, nothing can stop it from spreading like poison through the Earth and all its creatures. The planet is evolving and anything that wants to remain will have to adapt. The animals are learning to fight back while the plants grow beyond control. Kaitlyn and her friends must find a way to survive while everything around them becomes stronger and stranger. They can’t trust anything they thought they knew about the world. They can’t even trust each other. Rage and violence twists its way into the hearts of the contaminated: shaping them into something new. Something which cannot feel pity, mercy or love. Kaitlyn’s heart draws her towards the one person she knows can help them but can she find him in time? Safety lies just out of reach and they must find the strength to achieve it.

Seventy years before Maya discovered the Cage of Lies, Kaitlyn’s world is about to change forever. Afflicted is the first book in the Tainted Earth Saga, an action packed dystopian romance filled with love, uncertainty and danger on every page.”

Expected Publication Date: December 15, 2017

pooled ink Review:

Thank you to the author for submitting this book for review!

Something horrible was happening in the world just outside my window and I wanted nothing more than to lock the doors and never have to face it.

Well Valenti has done it again. I was delightedly surprised when she introduced me to her Cage of Lies series, an action-packed YA dystopian story far in the future where the only surviving humans live within the walled city. Nature had at last turned against humanity. Going on the offensive it has driven the survivors within the walled sanctuaries and taken the rest as casualties of war.

In this series, which takes place before Cage of Lies, we start out in a somewhat familiar time and watch in horror as the earth begins to attack. Was it an accident? Was it planned? Was it terrorists? Was it their own government? Is it in the water? The food? The air? As strange shifts in the animals and plantlife become impossible to ignore these questions rise with anger, confusion, disbelief, and fear.

You can read this series before or after Cage of Lies. You can either follow the timeline and start out with Tainted Earth or if you’ve already read Cage of Lies then that’s equally fantastic. I found it really cool to be on the ground floor watching how the world in Cage of Lies originally unfolded.

The story begins with Katy, a high school cheerleader with a happy life except one regret that has haunted her: her neighbor Linc who she got sent away. And then suddenly he shows back up after six years, changed. With all the initial trappings of normalcy, teenage drama, and the mysterious neighbor, Afflicted lulls you in with its familiar tale until one by one it descends into chaos spinning into a thrilling survival story.

The animals are getting bigger, the plants are getting larger, and the people are going savage. Calm and ignorance is ripped from the public as they all stampede for the gates to the walled city. Katy and her brother are trapped in the middle of apocalyptic horror while Lincoln tries to maintain contact with his unit and save Katy from the madness.

Although I haven’t watched much of the CBS show, this series is giving me some ZOO vibes.

Just a group of high school teens they forge onwards, braving wolves, massacres, fire, and the sentient woods, able to push on in the confidence of finding home and help. But what is happening? Who is responsible? All they can focus on is getting to the gates. Besides, that’s what the city was built for, wasn’t it? As a promised haven for the people if the world fell apart?

I’ve always been a fan of Valenti’s pacing and so far this series is no different. This book contains her fantastic quick pacing and riveting plots with a good balance of action, blood, romance, and hope. Starting off with a typical suburban day and ending with a climactic strike that left me dying for the next installment, I definitely recommend giving Valenti’s books a try if you’re a fan of dystopian fiction (or a fan of any of the recommended reads I’ve listed below).

A heart-pounding start to this dystopian saga, Afflicted rears back and shows the first strikes as earth fights back. Fast-paced, twisted, and igniting the series with everything lost, follow along as wind whispers doom and the animals promise “soon.”


amazon icon_tiny Purchase here: Afflicted

Check out the rest of the series: Altered (book 2), Adapted (book 3), Advanced (book 4)

Similar recommended reads: Until the End of the World by Sarah Lyons Fleming, The Last One by Alexandra Oliva, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Cage of Lies Saga
-YA Dystopian Sci-Fi-

Chained (book 1), Linked (book 2), Broken (book 3), Bound (book 4), Free (book 5)

chained linked broken bound free

Meet Susanne Valenti!

susanne valenti

I’m a dystopian / sci fi author (that’s the dream anyway) but my day job is a little less creative and a has a bit more catitude. That’s right, I made a terrible cat pun 😸. I work with my family running a boarding cattery (that’s a hotel for cats) and we also help some lovely rescue kitties while they look for their new homes.

I have a little sister who is similar to me in pretty much every way; we look alike, talk alike, love the same things, hate the same things with the same insane passion and are even both aspiring authors! 👯

I met my husband when I was seventeen. We have been together for ten years which is long enough for me to find out that he’s the most infuriating man I’ll ever meet and to learn what true love really is. I am insanely lucky to have him next to me in everything I do even if we never look at anything in quite the same way.

Along the way we have rescued four fur-babies; two cats and two dogs. If you ever want to feel unconditional love then adopt an animal in need! It will be the best thing you ever do guarenteed 😻

I am into everything and anything from Walking Dead to Game of Thrones to Made in Chelsea and get a little too emotionally involved with the characters. I love a story that draws me in, keeps me hooked and leaves me wanting more and hopefully that’s what I create.
-Susanne Valenti’s website

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Pooled Ink OFFICIAL LOGO 2018

One thought on “Afflicted

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s