- Vivian Apple Needs a Miracle by Katie Coyle
ISBN 978-0-544-39042-3 $17.99
Reviewed from galleys Ad Gr. 8-12
When readers last saw Vivian (of Vivian Apple at the End of the World, BCCB 4/15), she and her friend Harp had driven across the country to discover the truth behind the cult of Frick that led to the purported Rapturing of multitudes of people and the desperate devotion of millions more. Now Vivian and Harp feature on Frick’s Church of America broadcasts as dangerous enemies, and they have been sheltered by Winnie, Vivian’s older half-sister, and her anti-Frick militia. Those at the top of the Church are defending against Vivian and Harp’s anti-Frick message with a potent weapon: Peter, the son of Frick’s right-hand man, whom Vivian took for an ally—and fell for. This sequel definitely requires recent knowledge, since the huge cast is a challenge to keep track of; additionally, Vivian is less interesting here, as she’s considered a tough chick right from the start, yet her actions are sometimes more juvenile than in the previous title. However, there’s plenty of pulse-pounding action as the militia engages in armed conflict with Believers, Vivian and Harp slip in and out of the Los Angeles hotel that’s become the Church’s headquarters, and Vivian stealthily reconnects with her beloved Peter, who is merely pretending to go along with the Church. Relationships—Vivian’s relationship with her mother and Harp as well as with Peter—also shift and develop in intriguing ways. Mostly, though this is about seeing the venal Church of America get their comeuppance and Vivian back in Peter’s arms, and that will be enough to satisfy many fans of the first title.