Publication Date: 15 November, 2016
Published by: Henry Holt & Co.
When a good friend of mine recommended this book, I admit it, I rolled my eyes. YA dystopia, again? I really could use a break. But when my friend insisted, I decided to take a shot, because, you know, may be?
The story follows Orion and Dram, two partners and best friends (and things progress more later on), who belong to a “caste” called Subpars. They are the best miners in their outpost, and are required to harvest a specific amount of cirium — an element capable of protecting people from radiation. Only then will they be able to join the Naturals — those who live in protected cities.
The plot then gets more complicated, and we are slowly presented with a danger after another, unfolding secrets, and things that are not what they look like at all.
What did I like? Everything.
I loved seeing Orion and Dram. Ms. Moyer has created two characters that were so good I wished they would exist in the real world. I liked the “team” they represent. I loved the interaction and the values they stood for.
The twists come next. Sky high stakes are thrown in at every turn. I have read some reviews that describe the book as a cross between The Hunger Games and Morning Star, but the similarities here — to be honest — are actually rather superficial. It’s a YA dystopia with rebellious protagonists. That’s it. I mean, countless books would fall under this theme. Ms. Moyer, however, manages to weave a riveting tale out of familiar elements.
The book also does a nice job of ending as a standalone, but also throws a hint at a future sequel/companion novel. Would I read another book set in the same universe? Definitely.
Verdict? Excellent debut, masterful writing. I will definitely be on the lookout for more.