The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza was written by Shaun David Hutchinson. I read this book a while ago, but I have fallen woefully behind with my book reviewing. Anyway, I found it on the new release shelf of the young adult section of my town library. The premise interested me, so I added it to the pile of books that I was borrowing.

Elena Mendoza is already somewhat of an oddity because she’s the product of a virgin birth via parthenogenesis. But then she saves the life of her crush by putting her hands on the girl and completely healing a gunshot wound. Elena doesn’t know what to make of this startling development, and neither do her classmates. Some of them think that it’s some sort of trickery and that Elena is looking for attention, and others think that Elena can perform miracles. Some of these kids in the latter group approach Elena and ask her if they can heal people in their lives. Elena complies, but her healing powers do not come without a steep cost. As strange things begin to happen all around her, Elena needs to figure out what role her powers are playing in these events, and what the future holds for her.

I liked this book. It has an original premise, and Elena is an amicable narrator. She wants only to be normal, but from the very beginning, her life is anything but that. The book brings up some interesting ethical issues, and it was fascinating to see Elena grapple with the pros and cons of healing people. Characters developed quite nicely, and the interpersonal relationships were very well done.

I would recommend The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza. This will primarily appeal to the target demographic of young adults as well as older fans of the genre. There are a lot of fascinating elements afoot. Parthenogenesis isn’t possible with humans, but this is some interesting speculation as to what a child produced from this very real biological phenomenon would be like. This book is quirky and thought provoking. This is my first experience with Hutchinson, but I would certainly seek out more of his books in the future.





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