Ahoy there mateys! I read these books back to back so you get two book reviews in one!
above world and mirage (Jenn Reese)
I first learned about this author by reading her adult book, jade tiger, and decided to see what else she had written. These are the first two books in the Above World series. In a world where humans have combined with biotech to survive, two friends Aluna and Hoku, leave their underwater city to try to save their community. In doing so they meet allies from the Above World in a war that encompasses them all.
The first book is not as fun in my mind as the second one. Unlike the rather plausible narrative of the second book, the first book was full of fortuitous meetings. Character A meets character B on a page by accident and happens to help them in some fashion. Oh look in the next chapter character A is in deathly trouble! Character B swoops to the rescue out of the blue! Lucky they met isn’t it? Rinse and repeat. Also book one had so many locales and introductions to the various Above World peoples. I get why we meet them. I just wish it didn’t feel so forced.
Book two was much better. There was basically one main setting and a second smaller one. The new characters’ introductions feel much more natural. The storyline seems a lot better organized. Some of the plot twists were just plain entertaining. One of the main things I loved about this series is that it has a relationship of a boy and girl who remain just friends. Their friendship is steady, loving, and enjoyable. Platonic love and companionship stay constant. It was lovely. Not to say that each party does not have love interests of their own in the books but it was a nice change from the recent books that I have read that not everyone is in love with the main character.
I did enjoy the different cultures mentioned though I would have liked a little more detail in that regard. The tech possibilities also could have been a little more detailed. I think the author gets away with the tech in the long run though because it is in a world where tech is dying or is misunderstood. The books had both strong female and male characters. Even though I liked these books, I am not sure if I will go out of my way to read the third. Have any of you read it and if so should I go for it?
Side Note: I did not censor the mermaid photo used above. I found it that way. Funny no?
Here is what Amazon has to say about book one:
A suspenseful sci-fi escapade plucks two children out of the ocean for a thrilling adventure.
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 at risk. 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 fierce determination and fighting skills 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.
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