The bulk of Orleans takes place over three days, starting on October 30, 2056. We have already been given a list of the catastrophic hurricanes that took place in the Delta region after Katrina. The most deadly was Hurricane Jesus on October 20, 2019 with an estimated death count of 8,000.
“After the storm deaths came other casualties: deaths by debris, cuts, tetanus, or loss of blood; suicide; heart attacks caused by stress of loss, or stress of rebuilding, or just as often from lack of medicines used to treat common ailments. The list of no-longer-treatable diseases grew: diabetes, asthma, cancer. Domestic violence rose, along with murder.
Then came the Fever.
And the Quarantine.”
We follow two characters as their seemingly different lives come together in a common goal. Fen de la Guerre is a teenage O Positive girl living in the quarantined city of Orleans, formerly New Orleans, that has been so ravaged by the incurable Delta Fever that the United States has literally walled off the Delta region and declared itself separate from the quarantined area. The Fever is in the air, the water, the blood. The way to survive longer is to live in tribes (“tribe is life”) that are ordered by blood type so that you can carry the disease without succumbing to it. Fen has learned to navigate this treacherous world by being “known for her fierceness,” in spite of the past that haunts her.
Daniel is a young scientist from the Outer States who has devoted his life to finding a cure for the Fever that took his younger brother’s life. He works for the military and has managed to engineer a virus that will attack the Fever and destroy it…along with the person who carries it. Daniel fears that the government will use this as a weapon in order to reclaim the natural resources of the Delta. He decides to take all his research with him over the wall into Orleans to find a cure.
The “tribe speak” that Fen uses can be challenging at first, but you will inevitably become sucked into this world as Fen and Daniel fight for their lives and also fight for something much bigger than themselves.