In "Sealed" by Naomi Booth, the planet is being destroyed by climate change.
Cities are crowded, and housing is at a shortage. Pollution is in every city. Fires are burning out of control in the wilderness. Everything is getting hotter, and in the midst of the chaos, a new disease is born, Cutis.
Cutis is a disease where people grow new skin over different orifices. Eventually, people die by being sealed up from their own skin. Not everyone dies. If caught soon enough, medical professionals can cut off the tough skin to avoid death.
The government doesn't consider Cutis a big deal since there are more important things to worry about, such as rotten fruit, wildfires and pollution.
Alice is almost eight months pregnant, and she is not going to let anything hurt her unborn child. Using her job as a social worker, Alice starts keeping data on this new disease, sharing her information in her blog. Alice also sees a connection between Cutis and the new government contracted housing for people who are displaced by climate change.
Not wanting to take any chances, Alice and her partner, Pete, move to the country where the smog is nonexistent.
A new life.
Alice's worries continue as she rarely sees any people in the small town she lives near. The animals start to behave oddly too. Pete thinks Alice is being paranoid and seeing danger that isn't there because of her unborn child.
Is Alice paranoid? The food is tainted with chemicals. The air is hard to breathe. Cutis is on the rise. Coincidence or connection? Neither way of life looks very hopeful.
"Sealed" shows the reader what life may be like while the planet is being destroyed. We see the fears through Alice, a soon-to-be mother, and her paranoid attitude. "Sealed" is suspenseful, stressful and exciting as the reader watches normal people battle threats from the world and their own bodies.
Naomi Booth, who is a writer and academic who likes the macabre, said about her writing: "I am a writer and academic. My fiction tends to explore unsettling landscapes, strange compulsions, dangerous bodies and contamination."
Booth's book, "Sealed," will appeal to readers who enjoy books that make you think and border on the stranger issues of life.
Brian Bray is IT trainer at the Missouri River Regional Library.