Above World

 
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Above World
Author(s)
Genre(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
February 14, 2012
ISBN
9780763654177
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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 in doubt. 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 warrior spirit 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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Hobbitsies Reviews: A creative, exciting ride

Above World by Jenn Reese is one of the most creative books I’ve read in a very long time. I mean, Jenn Reese doesn’t just take the concept of mermaids and tweak it in Above World – she creates this very elaborate futuristic world to set all these creatures with various mutations and features.

Don’t even get me started on all the different domes and species! I loved the lore of the Kampaii and the City of Shifting Tides, and all the different things Aluna and Hoku encounter on the way, things they never even dreamed of. And Zorro, of course, was adorable.

And Above World is ACTION PACKED. There is not a down moment for Aluna or Hoku – they’re constantly traveling to new places, fighting new creatures, meeting new people, which is kind of awesome, because I sped through the book wanting to know what happened next. And then what happened after that and so forth.

I really liked Aluna and Hoku – they were so different, but so clearly very loyal friends, and so brave! Always trying to sacrifice themselves for the good of others and what not. Aluna was probably my favourite character, though. She was determined to do what she thought was right and I really admired that about her personality.

Guys, if you like middle grades that make you go – how did anyone come up with this craziness of a world? – definitely check out Above World by Jenn Reese. It’s fast paced, entertaining, and captivating.

Review originally posted on my blog http://hobbitsies.net/2012/02/above-world-by-jenn-reese/

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Awesome Spin on Mermaids and Dystopia

In a nice change of pace from all of the young adult dystopias, I read Jenn Reese's middle grade dystopia. Her book was an utter delight, full of clever world building, mixed-up creatures and vibrant characters. Not only that, but her book has become my favorite mermaid book thus far!

Though Above World is categorized as a middle grade by the age of the protagonists and the brevity of the story, I see no reason why adults and teens would not enjoy it as well. The main characters have a maturity and cleverness that keeps them from reading like children. While some middle grade novels can be painful for an older reader because the plot solutions are so obvious, Above World kept me entertained and ready to find out what would come next.

Above World begins under the see with the Kampii, essentially mermaids. However, these mermaids are unlike any others you've ever encountered before. They breathe through an apparatus, a breathing necklace, which plugs into their lungs. They trade their legs for a tail in a coming of age ceremony after taking a pill. Aluna, our heroine, is about to receive her tail and become an adult. She does not get to, though, because she fails her loyalty test, because she asks questions about why Kampii are dying, their breathing necklaces failing so that they drown in their home.

Aluna, though she desperately wanted her tail, does not whine about the fact that her father and the rest of the leaders punished her for trying to save the Kampii. Instead, she sets out for the Above World, the land, to find HydroTek, the company that manufactured the breathers. She will figure out how to fix them, so that no more of her friends have to die. She planned to go alone, but her best friend Hoku, younger and a genius with tech, followed her.

Together Aluna and Hoku go on a number of adventures, making new friends and allies along the way. Aluna is an amazingly powerful girl, gifted with fighting. Hoku's skills run toward planning and electronics. All of the characters are bursting with life. My personal favorite, an adorable little scene stealer, is Zorro, a raccoon/computer. He reminds me a lot of R2-D2, which basically means he is the most adorable and totally reliable in a crisis.

The forces of evil and the dystopian elements, which I wish I could talk about more, but won't because I think they'll be more fun for you to discover on your own, are captivating too. I will say that one of the bad guys reminded me a lot of the scary neighbor kid in Toy Story.

There is some romance, but that's not the focus, which is a good thing considering how young the main characters are. What is there is pretty freaking adorable. Hoku's a bit girl crazy, which just adds to his cute, nerdy persona. There are some hinted romances for the future, but there's been no rush for true love or anything like that. Oh, middle grade, thank you for this wonderful break from romances that progress too quickly.

Writing dystopian fiction for younger readers can be quite tricky, but Reese pulls it off masterfully. I will be eagerly anticipating the next installment!

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Above World (A Room with Books review)

Above World was a fast and crazy wild ride. When the book first starts you’re thrown into a shark attack within the first 5 pages! It was a bit jarring since my last book was pretty slow, but once I got used to it, it was rather enjoyable.

Jenn Reese creates a completely different world I never saw coming. I knew Above World would be a little different than anything else I’d read since the synopsis seemed to point to an underwater world without mermaids, but there’s so much more to the world than that. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, though, so I won’t get into too much. Reese’s descriptions of all the technology and how it was used kept blowing my mind, but in a good way.

Hoku was definitely my favorite character of the bunch. He was timid, but still managed to be strong when he needed to be. His character growth was the most natural. Aluna did grow as a character, but it seemed almost too manufactured. I really, really enjoyed the Aviars as a whole, but I don’t want to spoil them.
Zorro was so cool! I want one for myself :]

The Nutshell: Above World holds much more than an underwater world and its inhabitants view of the world above. There’s adventure, action, awesome characters, and a totally new earth in a strange future. From the instant you open the book you’re thrown into a whirlwind of activity and it doesn’t let up until you turn the last page. If you enjoy quick-paced middle grade and crazy futuristic worlds, you should definitely give this book a try.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Above World (A Room with Books review)

Above World was a fast and crazy wild ride. When the book first starts you’re thrown into a shark attack within the first 5 pages! It was a bit jarring since my last book was pretty slow, but once I got used to it, it was rather enjoyable.

Jenn Reese creates a completely different world I never saw coming. I knew Above World would be a little different than anything else I’d read since the synopsis seemed to point to an underwater world without mermaids, but there’s so much more to the world than that. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, though, so I won’t get into too much. Reese’s descriptions of all the technology and how it was used kept blowing my mind, but in a good way.

Hoku was definitely my favorite character of the bunch. He was timid, but still managed to be strong when he needed to be. His character growth was the most natural. Aluna did grow as a character, but it seemed almost too manufactured. I really, really enjoyed the Aviars as a whole, but I don’t want to spoil them.
Zorro was so cool! I want one for myself :]

The Nutshell: Above World holds much more than an underwater world and its inhabitants view of the world above. There’s adventure, action, awesome characters, and a totally new earth in a strange future. From the instant you open the book you’re thrown into a whirlwind of activity and it doesn’t let up until you turn the last page. If you enjoy quick-paced middle grade and crazy futuristic worlds, you should definitely give this book a try.

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