It’s a good thing we don’t live in a dystopian society. *cough* *cough*
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This week’s book is the second in a series. And anyone who’s been following my blog for some time knows that I’m notorious for reading things out of order. I admit that this habit doesn’t allow me to experience the full history of a fictional world or its characters when I jump right into the middle of things. But, it also gives me a good sense of how coherent the world is. As soon as I opened this book, I knew the characters had a history together. And the author included sufficient descriptive details which kept me from becoming disoriented.
So what is today’s book?
The Stolen Sky, by Heather Hansen, hits the ground running. It takes place in a sunless city. More specifically, the city has been divided into multiple levels with the majority of the population dwelling underground. Those on the surface hold all the power and most of the wealth. Meanwhile, those living underground need supplements of VitD (vitamin D, which we get from the sun) in order to avoid a grisly death.
Hansen’s writing really shines in its worldbuilding. The social hierarchy and subtle political machinations are well-planned. It feels like a real living, breathing (or gasping) world.
I would have enjoyed this book even better if the romance between the two main characters didn’t interrupt the action. Because this book has some pretty amazing action scenes. And, overall, I didn’t feel that invested in their relationship. Part of this might be because I haven’t read the first book in the series, so I’m not holding that against this book. But the whole romantic-moment-interrupting-a-life-or-death-situation-with-a-short-timer-on-it is a common trope in books and television. Especially television. To me, it feels forced and unnatural even with two hormone-addled teens.
However, Arden and Dade (the main characters) make other pretty adolescent choices fueled by fear. And this aspect of the characters feels incredibly honest to me. Living in a stressful, dystopian nightmare doesn’t help your brain make great decisions. Even more so when you’re a young adult and your prefrontal cortex is restructuring (think: moodiness and lack of inhibition). All things considered, these characters are resourceful, highly adaptive, and realistic.
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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