In a desperate attempt to escape destruction decades earlier, humankind was forced underground, into the depths of the earth, creating a new society called the Tri-Realms. After her parents and sister are abducted by the Enforcers, 17-year-old Adele, a member of the middle-class moon dwellers, is unjustly sentenced to life in prison for her parents' crimes of treason. Against all odds Adele must escape from the Pen and find her family while being hunted by a deranged killing machine named Rivet, who works for the president. She is helped by two other inmates, Tawni and Cole, each of whom has dark secrets that are better left undiscovered. Other than her friends, the only thing she has going for her is a wicked roundhouse kick and two fists that have been well trained for combat by her father. At the other end of the social spectrum is Tristan, the son of the president and a sun dweller. His mother is gone. He hates his father. Backed by only his servant and best friend, Roc, he leaves his lavish lifestyle in the Sun Realm, seeking to make something good out of his troubled life. When a war breaks out within the Tri-Realms, Tristan is thrust into the middle of a conflict that seems to follow Adele mysteriously as she seeks to find her family and uncover her parents' true past. In their world someone must die.
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This is a fantastic YA Dystopian story. I loved it!
Adele is a wonderful character. I liked her feisty, sarcastic attitude but, like any teen, she can be a little prickly and defensive. She is a sixteen year old girl living in the Moon Realm, one of the Tri-Realms created when the earth was faced with a mass extinction event when a meteor was found to be hurtling to Earth. Sent to the Pen (an adolescent detention centre) and separated from her parents, who are branded as traitors, and her younger sister, Adele finds herself in a race against time to bring her family back together again.
Tristan is also a wonderful character and the heir apparent to the Presidency of the Tri-Realms. I liked his sense of honour and decency. He has a more compassionate attitude than his tyrannical father, who is the President of the Tri-Realms: the Sun Dwellers, the Moon Dwellers and the Star Dwellers. When he spies Adele in the Moon Dweller Pen, Tristan is confused at the effect she has on him. Determined to find out why, he sets out to uncover the reason.
I downloaded this book two years ago onto my Kindle, but due to my reading list being so long I haven't been able to read it. I decided to download it as an audiobook when I heard it was available earlier this year. This gave me the option to either read it, or listen to it. This audiobook is narrated by two readers, Julia Whelan and Will Damron. I have heard Julia Whelan's voice before - when I listened to Dan Wells's Partials series - so I knew and liked her voice. However, Will Damron was an unknown entity and I was a little worried. I need not have been. Sometimes, having two narrators can be an off-putting experience for some readers, but I have no issue with it. Both of them did a fantastic job in bringing the story and characters to life. They have pleasant and clear voices to listen to and I would definitely listen to more books read by them both, whether together or alone.
As I mentioned earlier, I have been wanting to read this book for some time, as I have read one of the books from the author's other series he has written. Namely, Fire Country from The Country Saga. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to read the other books in this series yet, but I am hoping to soon.
I started to listen to the story and was quickly hooked. This book is told from both Adele's and Tristan's points of view in alternating chapters. This gives the reader an insight into the protagonists thoughts and feelings, as well as scenes that play out without the other character being in the picture.
This is basically a story about a girl's journey to bring her family back together after they get separated by force. However, there is also action, adventure and romance, not to mention a tyrannical President who rules with an iron fist. In a way, it is very reminiscent of other Dystopian/post apocalyptic novels I have read in the past. But, there is an originality to the story that had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I love the world the author has created, even though it is a rather dark in more ways than one. I also liked meeting all the different characters. Tawni and Cole are completely different in temperament, but their differences compliment each other and make them wonderful friends for Adele. I absolutely love Roc. He brings a comic timing, wit and lightness to the story and has a repartee with Tristan that brought a smile to my face. His irreverence for Tristan's higher station makes him one of my favourite characters. Tristan and Roc have grown up together and this makes them best friends who are as close as brothers, rather than master and servant.
There are several surprising twists and turns in this tale, which had me guessing as to where the story was headed. Nevertheless, the journey has been an exciting roller coaster ride from beginning to end, containing explosions, sword fights and a formidable round-house kick or two. I am now looking forward to reading/listening to the second book, The Star Dwellers, as soon as possible.
David Estes has written a fantastic dystopian novel that has turned me into a huge fan of his. I love his writing style, which is fast paced and the flow is extremely fluid. His characters come alive, and the descriptions of the environs left me breathless. I am looking forward to reading more of his books in the foreseeable future.
I highly recommend this book if you love books like The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner, or YA, Dystopian or Post Apocalyptic genres. - Lynn Worton