Kalahari by Jessica Khoury


Jessica Khoury

A life-or-death stakes safari adventure from the acclaimed author of Origin and Vitro, which thoughtfully examines the unintended consequences of scientific experimentation.

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Deep in the Kalahari Desert, a Corpus lab protects a dangerous secret…
But what happens when that secret takes on a life of its own?
When an educational safari goes wrong, five teens find themselves stranded in the Kalahari Desert without a guide. It’s up to Sarah, the daughter of zoologists, to keep them alive and lead them to safety, calling on survival know-how from years of growing up in remote and exotic locales. Battling dehydration, starvation and the pangs of first love, she does her best to hold it together, even as their circumstances grow increasingly desperate.
But soon a terrifying encounter makes Sarah question everything she’s ever known about the natural world. A silver lion, as though made of mercury, makes a vicious, unprovoked attack on the group. After a narrow escape, they uncover the chilling truth behind the lion’s silver sheen: a highly contagious and deadly virus that threatens to ravage the entire area—and eliminate life as they know it.
In this breathtaking new novel by the acclaimed author of Origin and Vitro, Sarah and the others must not only outrun the virus, but its creators, who will stop at nothing to wipe every trace of it.

Advance Galley Reviews

This was the first book by Jessica Khoury that I read but I wanted to pick this one up after I met Jessica at an event. This was definitely different from other dystopian type of books that I've previously picked up. I will say that it took my a while to get into this book and that's mainly because I was a little bit confused about what exactly was going on. I know that this series is meant to be one of those where you can dive in at any point but I really wish I had picked up Origin just so that I could better understand that world. In any case, this was a fun book and it was super intense. I definitely enjoyed seeing how the teens fought to survive and I especially love how the sci-fi elements made for a unique setting. Additionally, I really liked Sarah as a heroine -- she was willing to take charge and guide the teens out of Kalahari. I'll probably be picking up the rest of the books in this series because I was super intrigued by the world. Also, I'm really looking to Jessica Khoury's new Forbidden Wish book. She really knows how to write a compelling and intense story so I'm definitely picking up her future books.

Unfortunately, I was unable to progress beyond the first few chapters. The events felt too familiar, too cookie-cutter to be entertaining. Between the predictable setup (revenge-driven dad goes on ill-advised poacher hunt, leaving his daughter in charge and the group for which he's responsible alone in the wilderness to fend for themselves); flat, recycled characters (including the two rich kids who didn't know what they were signing up for and complain every two seconds, much to protagonist's irritation); and the sudden, unexplained chemistry between the protagonist and her most sympathetic group-mate, this novel just couldn't hold my interest. Which isn't to say it couldn't have redeemed itself later on, but I'll never know.

As much as I loved her first two books, Kalahari just wasn't for me. Maybe it was the atmosphere, which felt a little too vague, or maybe it was the characters, who felt a little too flat, or maybe it was a mix of a lot of little things into a feeling that I just couldn't get rid off. This isn't a bad book, not even closer, but the writing and characters just didn't do for me what Khoury's previous books did for me.

This is the first book Ive read by this author, Jessica Khoury, and I must say that I enjoyed it. Its a fast paced coming of age story that i think anyone will enjoy. It made me want to pick up other books by her. I would recommend this book to others.

Interestingly enough, this book exceeded my expectation. This is the first book I read written by Jessica Khoury. I really enjoyed it. I mean it might not be deep or thought-provoking but it was an entertaining and exciting story.

Much better than Vitro but I don't think anything can beat Origin. Up until maybe the last 25% of the book I found it kind of predictable but I still really loved it because of Jessica Khoury's writing. The way she describes the dangerous beauty of the desert just made this book so special. I felt like I was there, like I was part of the group struggling to make their way through the desert, while feeling the hunger and thirst. On this Corpus front, this book was a lot less focused on it than the other two. The ending of this book is the first one of the series that actually made me feel like I wanted another book. It was intriguing because of how it appears as if Corpus doesn't seem to exist on any level. I really want to know more behind this mysterious company. I'm glad the focus of the book was only on one character, Sarah, because I felt like we were able to learn more about here. The secondary characters were fairly well developed, some more so than others, but there was definite growth in the five other teenagers. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, mostly because of the writing and the descriptions, although the ending made up for the lack of suspense in the first half. Not to say the first half wasn't action packed, it just wasn't all that suspenseful. I would still highly recommend this book and the entirety of the Corpus series because I think it is brilliant YA science fiction.

Kalahari is an excellent thriller, as fully high-octane as any on the bestseller lists. Here's the set-up: "When an educational safari goes wrong, five teens find themselves stranded in the Kalahari Desert without a guide. It’s up to Sarah, the daughter of zoologists, to keep them alive and lead them to safety, calling on survival know-how from years of growing up in remote and exotic locales. Battling dehydration, starvation and the pangs of first love, she does her best to hold it together, even as their circumstances grow increasingly desperate." There's lots of suspenseful action, but there is character development, too, lots of good writing. Danger, death, lions and love make a winning combination. This is book three in a series that can be read as stand alones. Highly recommended. I received a reader's edition of this book from First to Read for review.

I am so frustrated, I just wrote a nice long review and then accidentally went backwards a page right before I finished and lost it all. I'll try to rewrite what I remember. Anyway, I've had Origin and Vitro on my TBR list since before they released but never got around to reading them, so I was excited to be selected for Kalahari. It was just the push I needed to pick them up. I was excited to get started on Kalahari to see if it was as good as the first 2.And I have to say, it might have even been better. It was a great story and just as exciting as Origin and Vitro. While you can read any of these three books as standalones or in any order, I'm glad I read them in the order they were written. Would I recommend this book? Absolutely - only I would recommend the entire series.

One of the biggest strengths of Jessica Khoury and her Corpus novels is the amazing settings--and Kalahari does not disappoint! Sarah, the daughter of scientists who have been documenting the desert wildlife, and five teenagers, all unexperienced in the dangers of the wild, must make their way through the deadly Kalahari while being pursued by even more deadly Corpus agents who are desperate to conceal the truth about a deadly virus they've created. Khoury's Sarah is just as engaging as her other Corpus heroines, and her knowledge about the desert is simultaneously believable and informative--Sarah doesn't know everything, but the way she keeps herself and the other teens despite all they're facing is consistently engaging and interesting. The end--with the promise of more adventure for Sarah--left me with the same question as the other Corpus books: will these characters come back? Moments at the end of Origin and Vitro made me think that we'll see a combined cast at one point, but if that's true, Khoury is definitely making us (eagerly) await.

Kalahari by Jessica Khoury is a coming of age novel. I didn't have a chance to finish the book yet, but what struck me about the story was the immense world-building the author achieved. Everything is so realistic. The way the characters respond to the environment is spot-on. Khoury was truly able to create a story that the reader believes in and wants to see it to the end. From reading other reviews, I gathered this novel is part of a series, but I had no problems reading it as a stand alone.

Wow! I really loved reading this story! Kalahari has become my favorite of the Corpus companion novels! This is a breathtaking story full of action, adventure, strength, fear, and friendship. Sarah lives in the Kalahari Desert with her zoologist father, studying the wildlife. They agree to host five teens (Sam, Joey, Avani, Kase, and Miranda) and show them around the desert. Not long after the teens arrive, Sarah's father and Theo (family friend) hear news of hunters being in the area. They leave Sarah in charge of the teens and the camp, to go find the hunters and deal with the situation. But after several hours pass, there is no sign of her father and Theo, so the teens set off to find out what has happened. Which leads them on a fighting for survival adventure through the desert. The group has to deal with dehydration, starvation, the hunters, and the wildlife. But they discover A Corpus Lab in Kalahari Desert that has been conducting secret experiments, and now the group of teens have to find a way to escape the virus and the creators. I love the concept of this story. The scientific experiment is so unique. Definitely not something that I have read before. The virus was fascinating to read about. I was surprised by it and it is very thought-provoking. I didn't really have a hard time believing that something like that could happen in this universe. This story is also beautifully written. It was so easy for me to picture the desert, the animals, and the characters. I really enjoyed the characters as well. This band of teens were interesting and rememberable for me. Each character is different and they each have their own personal challenges and flaws. It was easy for me to care about this group and what would happen to them. Sarah is a strong character. She has been through so much, and then her father goes missing. I feel that she is a good leader and tries everything she can think of to keep herself and the rest of the group safe. Sam is an interesting character. And I liked his backstory. He is caring and strong. Protective and loyal. Joey is the comic relief. He makes the jokes and tries to keep everything lighthearted, even though they are facing danger. His character made me smile. Avani is super smart. She knows a lot of information and notices things quickly. Kase and Miranda are the couple that came together. They aren't exactly what they seem at first. One of my favorite things about this story was how the group worked together to survive. They might not have started off liking each other, but I really enjoyed the friendship/relationship developments that occurred with this group of characters! My Recommendation: I really enjoyed reading this story. There was a lot of action and some surprises that really kept me hooked. I found it to be a great companion book to the series. So I recommend reading this book if you enjoy Science Fiction stories that are unique and fascinating. Even if you haven't read Origin and Vitro, you can jump into this book and know what is happening because it is a companion novel (same universe with different characters).

I've been a huge fan of Jessica Khoury's books for a while now and Kalahari has reminded why I just can't stop reading these Corpus books. There's something so real about these novels, you can just feel the heat of the desert while reading Khoury's atmospheric prose. This is an excellent survival story with sci-fi elements blended in, one that I couldn't stop reading no matter what. Jessica Khoury can do no wrong in my book because everything I've read by her I've loved and Kalahari is no exception. When Sarah's dad takes on the job of taking a bunch of high-schoolers on a tour of Kalahari, she's excited to go on an adventure and show off her home. When hunters are spotted in the area, Sarah's dad rushes off to scare them away instead of calling the police and the group is now left without a chaperone. It's up to her Sarah to guide her new friends through the Kalahari safely and to use the skills she's learned from her parents. The only problem is that something strange is going on and it's a lot bigger than Sarah or her friends ever realized. Kalahari is a sci-fi thriller novel that fans of Jurassic Park will love (I'm really shocked that it took me 3 books to finally make the association). Khoury takes the classic science gone wrong theme and uses it to create an exciting, thrilling adventure that's beyond engaging. We have people from Corpus trying to play god once again, but when will these people ever learn? I really love how the villains here aren't your typical one-dimension mwahaha spouting crackpots, here the villains are just average people who are just trying to make some sort of difference in the world. They are blinded by the idea of power that they don't see what's wrong with what they're doing. I really love Sarah's character because even though she's thrown into this horrible situation, she takes it in with stride. She doesn't complain that she has to deal with a bunch of teens with no survival skills or that her father could possibly be in trouble. Yes, she does spend a bit of time being emotional but Sarah doesn't let her feelings overwhelm her and takes charge of the situation. I'm not sure if this is the last Corpus book or not, but I'd really like to see one novel that blends Origin, Vitro and Kalahari together. Yes, all three books are connected because they involve Corpus and their crazy experiments but I'd like to see a more substantial connection. It'd be interesting to see Pia, Sophie and Sarah all meet in this novel and make a stand against Corpus and their non-sense. I don't know how such a novel would work without being convoluted, but I have so much faith that Khoury can pull it off. Kalahari is a top-notch novel from Khoury and I'm beyond pumped to see what she has in store for readers next. I'll definitely be reading her Aladdin book when I get my hands on it and I have a feeling it's going to be amazing. If you haven't read any of the Corpus books, it truly doesn't matter where you start and Kalahari is a good place to start as any. Jessica Khoury is one of the best YA sci-fi writers out there and I think she's a modern Michael Crichton.

This was the first Khoury book I have read. It's a fast paced coming of age story. I enjoyed the characters, plot and scenery. I wanted to know what happens to Sarah and the rest of the group next. I was sad to see the story end.

I received an ARC of this book through Penguin's First to Read program and am so glad I did. What else could Khoury possibly throw at these kids? My goodness. Throughout most of the book I thought for sure there was no way they could all make it. While I understand Sarah needed to be on her own for her character to develop, as a parent I will never understand her father's choice to separate them. Khoury's writing style had me fiercely engaged in the story, and now that I know it is third in a series I will be searching out her other writing. I highly recommend this book to other readers.

Kalahari was a fast-paced coming of age book. I loved the adventure aspect and the setting. You could tell that it was well researched by Khoury. I didn't read the second book in this series, and was delighted that I didn't have to. I liked this read and the sci-fi/science elements of the book. All around good read!

This is my first time reading Khoury and I must say that I love it! Reading about living in wilderness with lions and other wild animals like this is something fun for me. I can imagine in my head while reading and hoping that one day I have a chance to go there for a educational camp like Sam and the others did! Their adventure also nice to follow, such a page turner and making me hard to stop reading! In short, I love this book! Face pace and no boring moment.

This is a fast paced novel; right from the start. First, poachers are sited; then her dad goes to track them; then an urgent call; then Sarah and crew set out for him and we don’t look back. Sarah lives in the bush of the Kalahari with her father, and while still reeling from the tragic death of her mother, she is forced to take responsibility for five other teenagers in order to receive funding for their research station. was action packed from the start and kept me on the edge of my seat till the very end!

I don't like Science Fiction, it's really not my thing. However, when I got my hands on Jessica Khoury's Vitro, I surprisingly really enjoyed it! When I heard about Kalahari, I was super excited to read it. Kalahari brings everything that I have come to expect in Jessica's books. Danger, excitement, an awesome unique main character, great secondary characters.....Literally everything. Kalahari is easily one of the most original books I have ever read. Nothing even comes close to the ideas in Kalahari. The main character, Sarah, to say the least is awesome. I loved reading about her. The secondary characters are all unique and interesting to read about, their different backgrounds are explained and I came to connect with them almost as much as Sarah. But the main thing that shines in Jessica Khoury's writing is her descriptive ability. I could FEEL myself in Africa. Even if the characters were flat, and the plot was dull, the beauty in the describing of Africa alone would make this book worth a read. If you liked Jessica Khoury's earlier books, then you definitely should read this one. And even if you have not, the awesome thing about these books is that they don't have to be read in order! Read them in any order you want, whether you want to explore the jungle (Origin), an island (Vitro), or Africa. These books are the cheapest ticket there you will get.

Edge of your seat tale of adventure and the pushing of your body beyond what you thought you could endure. Jessica Khoury captures the reader and pulls them in encouraging them to reflect on their own values and strengths and beliefs. This is a great escape that allows you to come out on the other end refreshed and renewed and even challenged. In life and even in death, our lives mean much more and touch so many lives! Excellent book Jessica Khoury!! Keep them coming!

4 stars Sarah lives in the bush of the Kalahari with her father, and while still reeling from the tragic death of her mother, she is forced to take responsibility for five other teenagers in order to receive funding for their research station. This exciting premise starts out an extraordinary young adult action book that demonstrates the courage of these individuals and the capacity to grow even in unthinkable circumstances. I will say that I was at first turned off by the irresponsibility of Sarah's father that sets off this stream of events and puts his daughter and his five charges in unspeakable danger. I found that aspect of the story somewhat unbelievable and it took me several chapters to get over it. Once I did, however, I was pulled into this story and I really like all of the main characters even when they were acting less than attractive. What I especially enjoyed, though, was the fabulous setting of Botswana and the Kalahari. Jessica Khoury does an exceptional job of describing the scenery and the wildlife. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it definitely tempts me to go back an read the others in this companion series. I received this book from Penguin's First to Read Program in exchange for an honest review.

Like the other reviewers, I didn't realize this book was part of a series and read it as a stand-alone novel. I think it stands up just fine from that perspective, but I did find the plot to be a little far-fetched and yet predictable at the same time. I recognize it's a YA novel and intended for younger readers, but it was difficult for me to get into it at times because of the predictability. I do think that Khoury did a nice job with the characters and the she did manage to surprise me with the twist at the end. Overall I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5.

I received this book as part of the Penguin First to Read program. It's the story of Sarah and the young people she must protect when her father is feared dead. This is an environmental nightmare with science gone amok. Silver lions and giraffes (mercury like in their shimmering) on the loose in the Kalahari desert while scientists with guns are tracking Sarah and her companions down. This is a fun read and a very plausible story. Genetic mutations and plague like problems are all very real in the world today. We also get an awakening of young love between Sarah and Sam and the knowledge that sometimes survival is not enough. It may be better to protect the many by sacrificing the few. I would thing that young adult readers would enjoy this story even more than I did. I liked it a lot!

I've read and loved all of Jessica Khoury's other books, but this one has to be my favorite so far. I went into this book without knowing anything about it, besides the setting and the fact that it has something to do with experiments (the latter was just a guess, it is a Corpus book after all). I love going through books knowing little to nothing about it. I ended up really enjoying this book and constantly turning the pages to know more! This book is another companion book, part of the Corpus series, though the books can be read out of order and by themselves yet still make sense. Kalahari follow Sarah who lives in the Kalahari desert with her dad. In order to make more money, they agree to let five teenagers join them for an educational safari. When her dad goes after some poachers and doesn't return, she fears the worst (especially since her mom died recently after a similar event). She goes after to find her dad, with the five teenagers in tow. She has to find her dad, while keeping her tag-a-longs alive, all the while strangers keep coming after her, along with the discovery of odd, silver animals and a deadly disease. First of all, this book is incredibly action-packed. Sarah's dad disappears very quickly in the book and from then on it's event after event after event. This book is never slow-paced and it absolutely works with the book! The entire idea behind this book is also really unique and creative, yet makes scientific sense. Sure, silver animals don't sound very plausible, but it is explained so brilliantly that it makes perfect sense. (By the way, please tell me I'm not the only one who was reminded of that one Scooby-Doo episode where all the safari animals turned a radioactive green? Anyone?) The characters were also very great. I know I say this a lot in my reviews, but Sarah is a very strong main character. She is very resourceful, thanks to practically living off the land, and saves the other's lives many times over. The other characters do grow as the book progresses. A few of the teenagers are kind of annoying in the beginning. They blame Sarah for what is going on and they complain about what's happening, but they begin to lose these feelings when they realize how serious the situation is. There is a very tiny romance in this book. It was one I was expecting. Once this guy walked out of the plane, my first though was "I bet this is the love interest." As I said though, the romance was very small and didn't distract from the plot at all. I actually thought it was really nice. Overall, this book was very fact-paced and action-packed! The plot behind this whole book is very fascinating and I thought it was done very well. I do recommend this book, along with any of Jessica Khoury's other books! If you are a fan of fast-based books with a mystery and science, you will very likely enjoy this book.

I did not realize that this book with actually the third in a series. That being said, the book read fine as a stand alone book. This was a good read. It was very fast paced and a book that I didn't want to put down. The journal style of writing is not something that I usually get into as easily, but it really worked well for this story. The plot was a little over the top and definitely not something that could be the least bit believable in real life, but it was an enjoyable piece of fiction.

This is book three in a series, but works just fine as a stand-alone. Sarah is the daughter of two zoologists, and has grown up living in camps, following around their subjects. The Kalahari Desert isn't the most forgiving environment, so Sarah's worried about the five teens on a safari. That worry doubles when her father and guide leave to try to stop some poachers, and don't return. But the heat, lack of easy food and water, and poachers aren't their only problems. A strange silver lion, which reflects the light as if impossibly made of metal, is stalking the group, strangely aggressive. And the men after the lion aren't poachers--they're responsible for the lion's state. They want to hide the evidence, and witnesses aren't something they're going to allow. And worst of all, the lion's strange condition is contagious. Though not the most likely of story lines, the plot is fast-paced and fascinating, sweeping you along. Some of the characters are better fleshed out than others, but the main players have plenty of history and flaws. The description of the desert is lovely and haunting, a strong presence in the story, at turns dangerous and sheltering. A fun read, with plenty of details about the landscape and animals, and a good choice for fans of a fast-paced story.

I appreciated the unusual setting and premise, but it was hard to get past adults leaving children completely unsupervised and without transportation in the DESERT - or semi-desert, as we are repeatedly reminded. The main character also made the decision to search through the dangerous desert rather than walk back to the airport that was a 10 minute drive. Fast paced, but there are too many ridiculous decisions made by characters to be enjoyable.

I went into this story blind and I'm glad I did. A book set in Africa was just plain cool because I more than likely won't ever visit there. I loved the premise of the book and the characters grew on me. Having to step up and be strong when you don't want to can be hard, but Sarah made it look easy. Being in the desert and fighting off poachers, where there is a silver lion out there possibly hunting them? It's a scary place to be that's for sure. If you enjoyed the first two books, I guranteee you'll enjoy this one as well! Readers are in for a treat.

Okay, time for a thoughtful review. I'm not going to lie to you guys at all. I didn't expect anything from this book. This is not the kind of book I'd pick up on a whim or anything. I've never heard much about the series, so it wouldn't have gotten my attention that way, either. I probably would have added this to my never-ending TBR list, as I do with practically every new YA book, but I doubt I would've ordered it from anywhere. What a disappointment that would've been, right? So right now, you can imagine just how suddenly happy I've come to be to have gotten a chance to read this from FirstReads. So, thank you to them! This is my first time reading a Jessica Khoury book. I understand this is a companion series, so you can read it in any order, which was really nice to know. I didn't think I would enjoy this as much as I did, considering it's a bit sci-fi--which is one of my least favourite series, if I'm honest. But in the end, it wasn't all that science-y! Kalahari has a lot of action going on throughout the entire novel! I didn't find it to be edge-of-your-seat action or the holy-hell-this-is-gonna-give-me-anxiety kind, but still plenty of action. You've 4 American teenagers and 1 Canadian, all incompetent on how to survive in the semi-desert. You've got 1 girl who knows this area pretty well, but under stress and in the care of 5 teenagers? With no other authority figures? And so much grief? Not to mention there's something out there, more dangerous than your average poachers--well, you've got a recipe for disaster right there. And that is what is delivered. That having been said, I must tell you how much I adored the main character, Sarah. Although she didn't have to deal with the teens, she did so, time and time again. She saved them, she kept them fed, she had them under her wing. Without her, they would've been caught, they would've starved, gotten lost, died. No matter how many times they went at Sarah for being insensitive or not capable, you could clearly see how wrong they were. And it was extremely hard for Sarah! She'd just lost a friend, reopening the wound that was her mother, and her dad's missing--it's crazy. On top of that, the Poachers 2.0, as I called them, are after a silver lion, something that's not part of nature--which is a bright clue-in to something that's not supposed to be in nature. A disease that wasn't supposed to see the light of day. With a disease and deadly people with guns wanting to kill you, well they were screwed. Sure, Sarah did lost her cool a few times, but only a few. If I had been in that situation, haha, bye. At first, I didn't like the other characters. Kase was annoying, his girlfriend Miranda was the typical city girl chic type that would bitch about everything. Joey was a player and one of those jokes-about-everything type; Avani couldn't stop showing off her SAT vocabulary and proving she knows everything about everything. Sam was a bit too interested in Sarah for some reason. I'm glad Khoury made them like that--not only because of character-trait diversity, but because you see how far everyone's come since the beginning of the trip. Those teenagers were expecting an education safari trip--not to be running for their lives! You see them grow up and slowly become friends--especially Sarah. She wasn't technically...raised around people her own age, so hanging out with these city kids was a bit of a new thing for her. You can tell the author did her research for this book. You come across your fair share of wild animals in Kalahari, so of course you'd need to study behaviour, appetite, action-reaction stuff... I'm no good at that, but you know what I mean. But on top of that, there's the research for the science part of the book--the science part that ties everything in together. It was interesting to read. The romance wasn't heavy, which was a great thing, because you're in the damn desert, first of all, and second, YOU'RE TRYING TO STAY ALIVE. There was no love triangle bullshit, no insta-love. Rather a weird way to admit it, and it was pretty see through (you could tell from the beginning who it would be). But it was light-hearted and cute. I really enjoyed it, surprisingly. I don't know what else to say except that holy hell this was amazing . Definite 5 stars.

This is the first book I have read of Jessica Khoury. I loved it. It was so well written and it kept me wanting to read. The characters were believable. I just wish it was longer. I want to know what happen to them all after the story ended. I will be looking for more from this author.

I felt that the beginning was slow, but once the scientist sneakery became evident everything kicked into high gear and became everything that I associate Jessica Khoury's writing with. The rest of the book was fast-paced, and I couldn't tear myself away. While at first I was a little dubious about the setting, as I gradually gained more knowledge of it I was fascinated by the Kalahari, and how much life was to be found in the (semi)desert. The underlying messages about nature and the environment really rounded the book out and added interest. A good deal of depth was given to the book by Sarah's struggles over dealing with the death of her Mom (though besides that and her kick-ass survival skills, I feel like Sarah didn't have all too much else going for her as an MC, persay). Characters don't really seem to be Khoury's strong point. But while I was pretty lukewarm about the characters in the beginning, I managed to warm up to them some, just like they did to each other throughout their crazy adventures through the Kalahari. The romance, while cute enough, didn't steal too much of my attention -- it almost feels like the book didn't really need it. But what Sarah *did* definitely need was the emotional support that Sam provided, and the loss they both shared. Between her survival skills and his emotional support, they both got through the whole ordeal together. Hard to say how this seems to compare to the other Corpus books. I have something of a soft spot for Origin, so I might be biased when I think that it was the best book with the most depth. Vitro was definitely not my favorite though, and even after reading Kalahari I think it's just going to continue to grow on me. :)

This is the second book I've read by Jessica Khoury - I've had another one in my TBR pile for almost a year, but I think I'll be moving it to the top of the list. Kalahari is the name of the book and setting - which in this case is a desert - sorry, semi-desert - but the setting itself plays a character in this novel. I can't imagine many things scarier than being stranded in a desert with no food, water, or shelter, knowing you're being tracked by people who will probably kill you if you're found. I haven't read many books set in the desert, but the author must have done extensive research before writing this novel. Even if everything about survival techniques was made up, it all sounded convincing and I wouldn't know the difference. Although strong and resourceful, Sarah is primarily a loner who is tossed into a mix of Breakfast Club-like characters that at first glance have nothing in common. As the story progresses, they begin to realize how very similar they are. The group dynamics are highly charged at times, humorous at others, and entirely believable. This was a fast-paced sci-fi/adventure/thriller YA book that kept me glued to the pages throughout the story - there were no down times here, folks. Although listed as the third book in this series, each book is easily a standalone and can be read in or out of sequence.

I thoroughly enjoyed Kalahari. By far my favorite of the Corpus books. It was so full of action with enough humor to keep the intensity down and real. Jessica did a great job painting a picture of the semi-desert and the animals that reside there. She brought the world to life, from the description of the bush fires to the food fight with the baboons. The main character, Sarah, was incredible. She felt real and down to earth and I loved watching her form relationships with the kids who arrive at her camp. Even they were real and likable, despite their flaws, which brought them closer.

POV: First-Person through the main character, Sarah Characters: I was not at all satisfied with these characters. I feel like Sarah, the main character, is the only one who has any dimension at all. The others all fell really flat. Sam, the love interest, Avani the smart one, Joey the comedian, Kase and Miranda the couple. We learn very, very little about these characters and what we do learn doesn't really add anything to the story. Sarah, on the other hand, was definitely fleshed out a little more. Dealing with the death of her mother and then worrying for her father while trying to keep the city kids alive. She's not my favorite female character ever but is an improvement on the rest of the cast. Romance: There is some very tame romance between Sarah and Sam. It develops naturally throughout their journey and feels authentic. Insta-Love: No Love Triangle: No Plot & Pacing: I had so many problems with the plot of this book. From the very beginning I kept saying, "What?" and "No way that would happen!" Yes, yes, I realize that this is fiction and sometimes it is required that the reader suspend their belief for a little while. In this case, though, the whole premise was just not something I thought would ever really happen in any reality. Sarah lives in a camp (meaning tents, not a lodge) with her father and family friend, Theo, doing research in the Kalahari. Five teenagers come to stay with them as part of a conservation exchange program. Immediately after their arrival, Sarah's Dad decides to take Theo with him and leave to chase after some poachers. Seriously? What kind of adult leaves their daughter and five city kids alone to fend for themselves in the middle of the desert (semi-desert) with absolutely no protection? When Sarah's dad does not return in a timely manner, they all decide to go looking for him. The rest of the book is basically Sarah trying to lead this group through the Kalahari without anyone getting seriously injured or killed. Along the way they stumble onto this hidden research camp and see some things they were never meant to see. Without giving anything away, I'll just say that despite the descriptions and explanations, the "virus" makes absolutely no sense to me. Maybe that's just me. I don't know. But it didn't ring true and made me roll my eyes more than once. The pacing was good and was the reason I continued to read even while I was rolling my eyes. Things move very quickly and there's always something happening. The book is action packed and I think that will really appeal to a lot of readers. Setting: The author's research about and descriptions of the Kalahari are the only reasons I gave this book 2 stars instead of just one. She does a fantastic job of making the reader feel like they're right there with the group. Descriptions of desert life, the animals, the plants, the food sources, the open sky are vivid and really evoke the feeling of being there in the desert. Cliffhanger: No Overall: I was really disappointed with this book. There were a lot of plot holes and things that just didn't sit well with me. The setting and pacing were good, though. Many readers will love Sarah and will love the fast-paced action. It wasn't for me but the adventure here will be appreciated by others. Also, I will note that although this is the third book in a series, it can be read as a standalone. It is not necessary to read this series in order.

It is a really good book overall 4 stars

This is the 3rd book in Jessica Khoury's Corpus series. I like that though all three books take place in the same world, and center around the mysterious scientific entity named Corpus, they can be read in any order and independently of one another. The pacing of the book was excellent, but I thought the characterizations were not as strong as in Origin. Sarah was by far the strongest characters but her supporting cast seemed forced most of the time. Khoury's greatest strength, among all three of the books, is her amazing ability to create a setting. Whether it's in the rainforests of the Amazon, or the semidesert of the Kalahari she weaves together beautiful and precise descriptions that make you feel like you are right there. Readers who enjoyed Origin and Vitro will certainly love this next installment.

I thought it was an OK book. I would rate it 3.5 stars. Did not realize it was a series but held its own as a stand alone novel. I had to remind myself that the book revolved around teenagers as I found them irritating at times.

Sarah's father has got to be the most irresponsible person ever. It was actually ridiculous how irresponsible he was. It was a convenient way to start a book which makes it a pretty crappy opening in my opinion. That being said, Jessica Khoury has once again wowed me. The thing about her books that always gets me is the settings and the descriptions. She always does an amazing job with those and this book was no exception. I felt like I was actually there. And her books are always so easy to get sucked into and so hard to put down because beyond the amazing descriptions are a well thought out mystery. Absolutely gorgeous. I hope to see more Corpus books from Jessica Khoury in the future.

This book is the third in a series, if I had known this I would not have signed up to read it, BUT this is one of those rare series in which you do not need to read the others! With it wrote in first person, I was just as lost in the situation as the main character was; I enjoyed it, and I just might read the other two. It takes place in Africa, at a research camp. After losing her mother a few months earlier, it is just Sarah and her father, along with their friend Theo. To get much needed money to fund their research her father agrees to show a group of teenage kids around. When these kids arrived, word of poachers sends Sarah's father and Theo off to find them for the law to handle. When they do not return by morning, Sarah and the teenagers go off in search of them. They find the truck, bullet holes, blood, and Theo who had been shot and dies. This starts the real events of the story and their survival in the desert. It was not poachers, but a cleanup crew to hide the evidence of an illegal experiment that had gotten away before it spreads. Good story, kept my curiosity up, the characters were real, and few irritating, which teenagers can be. Four stars.

I loved this book! I've been meaning to read Jennifer Khoury's other Corpus series books, but hadn't gotten around to them. When I saw the opportunity to read Kalahari through First To Read, I jumped at the chance and am so glad I did! Even better, each book it set in the same world but the series does not have to be read in order! That's always a plus. So excited to see where she takes the story and characters from all these novels next, but especially Sarah. I could imagine myself in the Kalahari and learned a lot about the area and am excited to explore more on my own!

A YA adventure novel with the Kalahari as not only a setting, but also a main character. The plot is fast-paced and the storyline includes themes such as "how far is too far" science, a survivalist-type journey, and much more. Think A Far Off Place meets Crichton's Congo with a dash of teen angst. There is some romance, but it's not the major theme of the novel. If you liked the author's Vitro, you will love this book. Recommended for YA fans. Penguin First to Read Galley

Kalahari, a semi desert filled with adventure, suspense and action. With every page turn, you find yourself deeper within the golden fields running with Sarah and the others. From a silver lion, to a missing father, and a group of poachers.Kalahari keeps you at the edge of your seat and immersed in the heat of the hunt.

I read Jessica Khoury’s Kalahari pretty much in one sitting. It is fast paced and continuously moving, with twists and turns that will draw in the reader and keep them there until they finish the book. The research that went into this novel is far above average. It is obvious that Khoury put a great deal of effort into building the environment of the Kalahari properly, and that pays off by making this a very realistic read. The plot moves very quickly, making the book hard to put down even though there are parts that are mildly frustrating. The level of detail describing the desert and the animals within it really makes the environment come to life. I love the character of Sarah. I found her grit and determination to be on par or above many other YA heroines of late. It is always nice to read a strong female protagonist. The voicing of the six different teenagers was very on point, separating the group into distinctive characters that I really wanted to root for. We have the “outcast” kid, the weird kid, the poor kid, the smart kid, and the rich kids. All of them have enough layers that they really work as characters, helping to advance the plot and pull in the reader. In short, the characters, as in all of Khoury’s work, were so well constructed that they made me care about them and sit and read until I knew how things would end. However, the romance in this didn’t work for me. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t include specifics. But I found Sarah’s romance with Sam to be incredibly contrived and hard to swallow. I wanted to root for the pairing, but it just came across as too formulaic for my taste. Boy reads about girl. Boy travels all the way across the world to meet girl. Boy automatically likes her as much as he liked book. And they all live happily ever after, the end. So many YA books focus on the love aspect in order to advance the plot, which it seems like Khoury did here. However, she didn’t need to. The character of Sarah was strong enough to tell the story without being in what reads as a forced relationship. Sarah could have moved through the adventure and solved her problems without the romantic relationship as a catalyst. Her love for her family and the strength of her character would have been enough. All in all, this book was a 3 for me. While the story was interesting, the characters were excellent, and the environment was fantastic, the Sarah/Sam pairing just didn’t work for me and really detracted from the story.

WOW!! That's all I can say... This book was one heck of a ride. It was action packed from the start and kept me on the edge of my seat till the very end! I loved the setting of this one. It is set in the Kalahari and you can tell that the author did her research. She describes the environment and wildlife so vividly, you feel like you're really there! I also really liked the main character Sarah. She was very smart and never needed saving, different from some YA main characters. I liked the romance in this one mostly because it didn't feel forced and it wasn't the main focus of the story. If you are in the mood for an exciting survival story/thriller I recommend this one! But be prepared to read this in one sitting! 5 Stars!

Adventure, coming of age, science fiction, romance, this story manages to fit into all of these categories. A story of a young woman who is grappling with the recent death of her mother must shepherd five teenagers in the middle of a semi-desert. In the course of their adventures they must escape mercenaries as well as an extremely dangerous contagion. While I have never been to Africa, Jessica Khoury does a great job painting a picture of life in the desert complete with native wildlife. I also found the main character, Sarah, to be extremely likable and reading as quickly as possible, rooting her on throughout their adventure. I would recommend this book to a younger female audience. In an era of popular young fiction where the main female character lacks many strong, positive traits this book does a female heroine justice in a believable, lovable manner.

I loved this book. I gave it 5 stars. It was so good I could not put it down. I read it in one sitting. I had some mystery, some thriller, some romance. It had on the edge of your seat action. It was awesome. I can't wait to read other books by Jessica Khoury.

This book was fantastic! Very heartwarming and fun to read! Jessica khoury is a lovely writer but I dobt think that his should be considerd YA. I know that thiswas about a group of teenagers but It was not something that I would have chosen to be considered Ya. It was still a very enjoyable read and I liked it very much! I felt like this book was fiction but it was sonething that I haven't read before! It was the whole package and it was something that I wiyldnt have just picked up and read. Overall a great book!

It's the first book by Jessica Khoury I've ever read and my ideas about it are very conflicted. I'm much too old for ya books, but I did enjoy it , except some parts which made me grit my teeth. I had read a couple of reviews of her previous books saying not for the faint of heart. And this is exactly my problem : do we need that much violence, animal experimentation, deaths to be able to enjoy a book? There is a good story underneath Kalahari; the family Carmichael, with 2 biologists parents and a 17-year old daughter, Sarah, live in the Kalahari. Sarah is of course home schooled but the things she has learned are more than what you would expect from "normal" homeschooling. She knows how to track, how to survive in the semi-desert wildness, she knows birds and animals as well as the flora. A few months after her mother's death, five teenagers are coming to their place for some kind of a special safari and just as they arrive, hell breaks loose. Sarah's father disappears, her friend Theo the bushman is killed, and the 6 kids are left without a car or a phone in the camp, unable to reach anybody. They will have to hike and try to reach the next town, 100 miles away. The discoveries they will make during this trip are amazing. They will have to reach to the limits of their strength, physically as well as mentally. They will create close links between them and nearly die many times. So, that sounds intriguing and rather fascinating, does not it? and I may add it is well written, and the three or four hours it will take you to read it flow away fast. Whee are my problems then? they come from the cruelty hidden behind the story, the lack of empathy and respect for animal life, the feeling of desperation for humanity that grasps you during and after reading this book. I don't think it was needed to kill Sarah's mother just before this adventure begins; I hated more than anything the part where the team of youngsters discover animal used for research and killed without much thought (I know she has done it in her other books too). It has been proved that research can work just as fast and as well without or with a lot less animal suffering - why then impress still young minds with the destruction of so many animal lives? Generally speaking, this book is the exact contrary of a feel-good book. You finish it happy the heroes survive, but wondering if most human beings are really as bad as those described. There appears to be some realism and study about life in a desert, and I believe the research has been made thoroughly, But the story in itself is full of plot holes and lacks any credibility. Just at the beginning, you lean the camp only has one car, and no satellite telephone, just a couple of radios, not very sensible and without power if no electricity is available.And in those conditions, the father and daughter are supposed to take care of five additional kids? I still don't know how the villains found the camp, or how food was provided to their camp or to the bad ones'. When did someone check to be sue everything was normal? never? the risks are huge, between the wild animals, the possible poachers, or whatever problem which could happen. It is an adventure book and it is meant to carry you away, so it seems useless to discuss the amount of impossibilities encountered. But still, the book could be a bit more ... gentle, I would say. What is the use of having a vegan character if human beings are going to destroy the world no matter what?

Before you dive into Kalahari, it'd be a good idea to block off a solid chunk of do-not-disturb-unless-there's-a-fire reading time, because this novel's too good to put down. I started reading during naptime at work (about an hour), and after I got off work, I read...and then, well, dinner and stuff...and then I read more. I finished just shy of midnight because it was just too compelling to save for tomorrow. If you're wondering whether the third novel in the Corpus 'series' is worth your while, even if you perhaps disliked either Vitro or Origin...YES, yes it is. This story will seize your heart (and possibly make your blood pressure spike on occasion). I was torn as to whether or not this would be my new favorite novel from Khoury because, while it definitely surpassed Vitro in my eyes (though I enjoyed Vitro immensely), Origin has a special place in my heart. As I debated the why-I-love-these-books-and-don't-know-which-I-love-more, I came to realize I love both equally for different reasons. I love Origin because it blends sci-fi and fantasy seamlessly—the ideas, the themes, the prose and the setting...it's the wonder of it all that made me fall in love with it. I love Kalahari because the sci-fi edge is cutting, because the plot was riveting, and because I connected deeply with these characters and journeyed through the desert (oops, I mean...semi-desert) with them hoping they were all going to make it despite the treacherous landscape and deadly wildlife. And, as always, the prose was beyond brilliant. *Characters* In her previous novels, I perceived Khoury's character-building to be acceptable, but not anything particularly remarkable (T_T sorry). But in Kalahari, I felt her characters were operating on a completely different level. These characters will surprise you. If you've read the sample chapters, you may be thinking...no, no they won't. But trust me. They will. This includes villains. I suppose it's odd to have a sense of pride as a reader, but I do. Khoury earned it, big time. *Setting/World-building* There are few instances when I feel such a sense of presence while reading a novel. I have an uncanny ability to 'disappear' into a world, into a character's mindset, and live that out while I'm reading (I say uncanny because I often take on the attributes of a character while reading, even if I'm taking a break to cook dinner or something. I just get really into it I guess lol)...but I've never been so thoroughly invested as I was while reading Kalahari. It was really weird...and totally cool...when I took a human needs break and seriously thought I was in the middle of the Kalahari (despite my surroundings). *Mini spoiler, yet not spoiler:* I even thought for a second after scratching that I'd been infected, horror included, until I looked in the mirror and realized, 'Oh yeah. I was just reading.' It was a lot like when you have a dream but aren't really sure if it WAS a dream because it was so real. Yeah. I know it's hard to understand how in the world that even happened...but I'm telling you, Khoury almost literally brings the semi-desert to life. *Favorite!* My favorite part of the novel wasn't the incredible prose, the gorgeous—and deadly—setting, the breakneck—and crazy suspenseful—plot, but the relationship Sarah had with her mother. Khoury dedicated this novel to her mother...and if I was her mother, I'd be more than honored to know how much love is displayed in these pages. The bond Sarah shared with her mother—it's not something you could understand without having experienced it. I envied and delighted in their connection, and loved that her mother's wisdom and joy was woven into the plot and the relationships (platonic and otherwise). Kalahari is utterly astounding—put it on your tbr shelf if you haven't, and go get this book!!


More to Explore

  • Origin
  • The Forbidden Wish
  • Vitro

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