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Blight by Alexandra Duncan

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Hopefully this is science fiction - purely for entertainment, no chance of this becoming reality. But it is set in North Georgia on a farm, called AgraStar that produces food from genetically modified seeds. So there is a measure of plausibility here. The protagonist, seventeen-year-old Tempest Torres, was found outside the gates of the farm when she was five and has worked there ever since as a guard to keep the scavengers who steal food from the farm at bay. The title of the novel comes from a blight that is released as a result of an explosion on the farm. Tempest Torres and a young scavenger boy, Alder, do survive to face additional life-or-death challenges. The author, Alexandra Duncan lives with her husband and cats in the Western North Carolina mountains.