by Jenn Reese
Series: Above World #1
Published: February 14, 2012
Format: ARC (368 pages)
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Science Fiction
Source: For Review
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 save their people.
Above World was an interesting mix of mythological creatures and our modern world of technology. You’ll find mermaids and computers in one breath. I was pleasantly surprised by the dystopian undertone to it all that gave it some wonderful depth. In this fascinating world that Jenn has built, there are several cultures based on mythological creatures that descended from humans when there wasn’t room left on the earth for them to live. These new cultures live in the sea and the sky and other places that humans couldn’t live. Some little details from our current world are mixed into the story which gives it a post-apocalyptic feeling and it also lets you see our world in a different way. My favorite example of this was Hoku talking about his “magic” plate but he says it used to be called “magnets.”
You come across several fascinating cultures on the journey and they were so creative and distinct. Curiosity about this world is what kept me reading. I liked this book overall, but the writing felt stiff and the story was a little over-told if that makes sense. The writing just didn’t flow well and it didn’t pull me in. The ending has some closure, but there’s a lot left to tell and a lot of the world is still unexplored. It was an enjoyable read and I think kids will especially like this story.
Content Rating: Mild, for some mild violence.