Sunday, January 15, 2012

Early Review: Above World by Jenn Reese

Above World
Author: Jenn Reese
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy Dystopia
Pre-Order: AmazonB&NTBD

          Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony’s survival is in doubt. The Kampii’s breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for way to save their people. 

          But can Aluna’s warrior spirit and Hoku’s tech-savvy keep them safe? Set in a world where overcrowding has led humans to adapt—growing tails to live under the ocean or wings to live on mountains—here is a ride through a future where greed and cruelty have gone unchecked, but the loyalty of friends remains true.

My Review:
          I was hesitant when I saw it classified as a middle-grade novel, but then I was so thrilled with how Above World presented me with this remarkably built and detailed world where humans have had to adapt themselves and their bodies to live in extremely harsh environments like the deep oceans, the arid deserts, and the incredible heights of mountains. From the technology, to the incredible races (Kampii, Deepfell, Aviars, Equines), and the fast paced plot, Above World had me captivated in the story from page one!
  
          Aluna, a Coral Kampii, is outraged at the way the elders are reacting to the malfunction of their breathing necklaces. The elders believe that in keeping to themselves they would be safe from the Above World, but this idea will probably lead to their extinction as they don’t have the tech to fix their necklaces. It’ll be up to Aluna and her friend Hoku, to defy the elders in an effort to save their people. Our young heroes journey to the world above, a place that has been ravaged by technology, war and time. Their goal is to find HydroTek, the company that made the Kampii’s breathing necklaces, in an effort to find answers as to why they’re failing. 
  
          The characters were all so alive; from strong willed Aluna, to super smart and sweet Hoku, to handsome and valiant Dash, and shy but determined Calli. These are characters you’ll want to meet! Theirs is a journey filled with action, self-discovery, and thrilling emotions of first love. It will open their eyes, making them realize there is strength knowledge, and collaborating with other races could save them all. I believe it is a really important message, and it’s why I love these three quotes:
The world needs us, and we need each other. We must not hide forever.
~
We are not alone. We were not meant to be alone.
~
You make me stronger than I am by myself.
          Above World has become one of my favorite dystopian novels so far, because of this positive message. People, this is not just a mermaid story! It’s a story of friendship, courage, and taking action to make a difference in a destroyed world. You won’t want to miss this wonderful book coming this February 2012.

*I received this book via Netgalley from the publisher*

Favorite Quotes:
He recognized that look: the furrow of her brow, the slight closing of her right eye, and the almost imperceptible twitching of her lips. Aluna was thinking, and there wasn’t a more dangerous activity in all the world.
~
His first kiss. Calli had kissed him. He had kissed Calli. They had kissed. He was now a person who had kissed another person, and been kissed by them in return. He would never be the same as he was before. Kissing changed everything.
~
Dash looked suspicious. “If you are Kampii, then where are your tails? You are supposed to be frolicking in the water, braiding each other’s hair, and singing love songs to the sea.”
“What?” Aluna dropped his arm none too gently and stood up. “Those are stupid old stories. None of that is true!”
From behind her, Hoku said, “Well, your sister does spend a lot of time playing with her hair, and we do actually sing a lot of songs about the sea.”
She scowled at him.


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