I just finished this terrific book by my friend and author David Estes. If you like Dystopian, this one is definitely for you! I highly recommend it. It's got some great characters and I absolutely love the world he has built. See my review below for more information, and a slight spoiler alert!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I would like to thank author David Estes for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.
It's a been a bit since I read a dystopian novel. I have been wrapped up in paranormal lately, so this was really a great change.
First, I must address the world that David built. I really love the concept of having to move beneath the earth to escape after the collapse on the earth's surface. I would have liked this to go a little more into the depth of why it happened. I think that would have made it a little more believable for me. With that said, I could totally picture David's worlds. The Sun Dweller realm reminded me a bit of the ship from the movie Walle. I could see how things were made to help simulate sun and being on the earth's crust. The Moon Dweller realm reminded me of caves. All I could think about was dark gray rock, rising on all sides, lit only by the timed lights that created "day" and "night." I cannot really picture the Star Dweller realm at this time, as we haven't really been there, but I know that comes in the next book. In my mind there's a lot of dirt! LOL!
I was worried about the book being told from two points of view. I am always worried about this, especially when it is a male and female POV, which have to sound very different to be believable. I was not disappointed. I was a bit shocked by the "insta-love" between the two main characters, but I almost feel there is more to this that we have yet to learn about. So I was able to put that on the back burner. And I loved the way that David kept us in suspense through most of the book as the characters almost met a number of times before they finally come together.
Adele is a kick butt heroine. I love kick butt heroines. She is smart and sassy. She is certainly strong and capable. She is also loving and compassionate. She knows how to distance herself so she won't become attached or get herself into a situation where she might have to fight her way out. But she also shows the side of herself that is a teenage, falling for Tristan as only a teen would do: by seeing him and locking eyes with him in an almost "love at first sight" way. She appropriately grieves death in the book, which I think is a hard thing to write. And she shows us that you can overcome anything if you put your mind to it. Although, she does have some luck along the way. And she has flaws, which definitely make her more relatable to the reader.
Tristan is not at all what I would have expected. He is strong and funny. He has so much love, you can feel it coming off the page (for both Adele and his friend Roc). He is honest, almost to a flaw, but it suits him and makes him more relatable. And you can see that his ideals are in the right place, even if his father's are not. I am curious as to what exactly it is he knows, as we don't really get any information on this during the book, except that it seems to be something that will help them change their worlds.
The supporting characters, Roc, Cole and Tawni, are really great. I love Cole's sense of humor and I was sad to see him go, as I really thought there could have been a lot more to come with him in the story. Tawni is certainly strong. And she is definitely holding back some secrets (that she seems to share with Roc and Tristan). And Roc, well, I just love him. He's such a great friend to Tristan, despite his position in the Sun Dweller realm as a basic servant to the prince. Elsey is wise beyond her years. I did find when she spoke that I really didn't see a 10 year old girl. I know that she was supposed to have really grown while in the orphanage, but to me it wasn't quite believable. And I'm looking forward to seeing more from Ben Rose, as I am sure he and Tristan are going to bond in the future over their love for Adele.
I was a little disappointed that we didn't get more insight into the evils that truly lurk in these worlds. Alas, there is Star Dwellers for that to happen, no? And I'm excited to see if Adele finds her mother, and who else she and Tawni meet along the way.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. I read it for a chapter a day read in Never Too Old for YA Books, and, let me tell you, it was hard to stop at just the chapters we were reading for that day! I didn't read the sneak peak to Star Dwellers. I want to be surprised when it comes out! And I will read the rest of this trilogy, that is for certain. Nicely done, Mr. Estes! I am looking forward to spending more time in the realms come this fall!
I'm rating this a 4/5 stars.
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