Today I have a review of TERRA by Gretchen Powell. This blog tour is hosted by Enchanted Book Promotions. Check out the rest of the stops on the tour here. After my review there is an excerpt and a giveaway.
Author: Gretchen Powell
Release Date: December 12, 2012
Publisher: Hopewell Media
Source: Author for blog tour
Series? Terrestrials #1
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Page Count: 286
Rating: [3/5 stars]
A broken and desolate Earth. A young girl struggling to survive. A lost boy with a powerful secret.
A discovery that will change everything.
In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth’s population, humanity is split in two: The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn across a dying planet. Eighteen-year-old Terra Rhodon is a terrestrial–a denizen of the barren groundworld–who makes her living as a scav. Long abandoned by her father, her caregivers gone, Terra supports herself and her younger brother, Mica, by scouring the earth for discarded scraps and metals to recycle for profit. One day, while on a routine scavenging run, she discovers something that shocks her home settlement of Genesis X-16. When the value of her discovery is revealed, Terra’s world is turned upside down.
Terra suddenly finds herself asking questions no one will answer. Her search for the truth leads her to Adam–a beguiling skydweller unlike any she has ever met. But Adam has secrets and a quest of his own, and with him by her side, the world Terra thought she knew begins to unravel. Soon her discoveries unearth a terrifying conspiracy that has the potential to shatter everything–a revelation that will test the bonds of loyalty, family, and love.
The first book in debut author Gretchen Powell’s anticipated Terrestrials series, Terra catapults you through a story filled with blood-pumping action, intrigue, and surprising twists that will both wrench and warm your heart. As the hidden truths of this world unfold, new dangers that loom on the horizon are sure to leave you waiting breathlessly for the sequel. (summary from goodreads)
TERRA is the story of Terra and her brother Mica. They live on Earth, but it’s not an Earth any of us would recognize. After a city fell from the sky hundreds of years ago and released a plague, there has been a divide between ground dwellers and sky dwellers. The unfortunate people that live on the surface scratch out a living by doing crappy jobs while dodging acid rain. Terra is a scav — scavenger — and to support her brother, she picks up metal and plastic discarded from the sky cities.
I liked the dystopian setting of TERRA. The author has a lot of creativity, and I enjoyed reading about the world she created. There were some parts that were information dumps, but as I generally prefer to know as much as I can about a new setting, they didn’t bother me.
Terra is the kind of girl I can get behind: a kick-butt, take no excuses, speaks before she thinks type. Her concern for her brother was touching, and it was good that she wanted to support him and give him a better chance than she had. Mica was good comic relief, and also a foil for Terra’s seriousness and sense of responsibility.
After scavenging an incredibly valuable item, Terra makes the decision to try and find more, so that she can afford to give Mica a real chance in life. Her decision leads to an incredible adventure, starting with running from raiders who want to hurt her to ending up in a plague quarantined city. That’s where she meets Adam, a guy with a boatload of secrets.
I really, really wanted to know what was up with Adam. Supposedly a sky dweller, Adam is doing research on how “the other half” lives. Terra and I both had a lot of questions about him, which brings me to the main thing about TERRA that didn’t click for me. Without giving too much away, it felt like there were two stories in TERRA. The first half of the book focuses on the dystopian world and survival, and the second half, well I can’t figure out how to explain it without spoiling some major things. But it was different. Now, I liked both stories. I just wanted them to gel together more smoothly. Maybe if the book had been longer there would have been more room to accomplish that.
A longer book would also have allowed more room to explore and develop the relationship between Terra and Adam. I was happy that the relationship wasn’t of the insta-love or head-over-heels variety, and that Terra thought about the implications of a relationship between a ground dweller and a sky dweller. But I didn’t quite feel the chemistry between them.
Something else I liked about TERRA was that the author was willing to hurt her characters and put her in some bad situations. Sometimes authors treat their characters with kid gloves (which I can understand!) but Gretchen Powell wasn’t afraid to put Terra through some hard stuff. There was a part near the end that I didn’t think was going to happen, but IT DID, and I cheered even as I thought, “Nooooo, poor Terra.”
Overall, I enjoyed reading TERRA. It’s a well-written YA dystopian/science fiction with a cliffhanger ending that made me want to read the next book RIGHT NOW.
The route to the southern wall takes three times longer than usual. With every other step, I find myself looking behind me, but by the time I finally reach the wall, I’m confident I haven’t been followed. I pull the gloves out of my pocket and put them on to protect myself against any residual water that has pooled in the wall’s cracks, then begin to climb. As I scramble up, the moonlight casts an eerie glow on the black brick, making me feel uncomfortably visible. My anxiety level is high as I reach the top, and I climb down the other side without checking the ground below. My boot lands in a shallow puddle of rainwater, splashing up a cascade of droplets that land on the arms of my jacket with a sizzle.
“Augh!” I yell out, then bite my lip and mentally curse myself for making noise. I leap out of the puddle and instinctively wipe down my arms with my gloved hands. Drawing a deep breath, I survey the damage. Fortunately, the thick soles of my new boots seem virtually unscathed, and there are only a few light scorch marks on the sleeves of my jacket. My gloves, on the other hand, are completely shredded.
“Well, those were a good investment,” I mutter under my breath, peeling off what remains of the gloves and inspecting the pink skin on my palms. My hands feel a little raw, but they don’t actively hurt. It appears the still-smoking material of the gloves absorbed most of the damage from climbing. I toss them into the puddle and offer up a sarcastic salute as they disintegrate, leaving nothing but decorative metal studs floating on the surface.
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