The Threat Below

Featured
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
901   0
Write Review
The Threat Below
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
August 01, 2015
ISBN
978-0692463598
Buy This Book
      

"A promising debut that could find success beyond the YA market." -Kirkus Reviews "This postapocalyptic YA novel is a fast-paced, fascinating slam dunk of a book. The Threat Below is... a mind-expanding tale of postapocalyptic humanity and truth--and the survival of both." -5 Star Clarion Review A Heart-Pounding Dystopian YA Thrill-Ride Three hundred years ago, something arose and pushed humanity to the brink of extinction. Now, a small remnant – the ancestors of the few survivors who were able to escape the massacre below – lives above the clouds, on the top of a mountain. But there's been a change. Their water supply is being poisoned. Someone, or something down below is trying to kill them. Now an expedition, including seventeen year-old girl Icelyn Brathius, must descend and face the monsters that wiped out civilization centuries ago. The Shocking True Nature of the Threat Below As Icelyn faces dangers in a world humans are not meant to survive, she learns that not everything is as it seems, and uncovers an ancient revelation, then faces a choice that may change the fate of everyone above and below the clouds. Will Icelyn be strong enough to both survive and bear the terrible secret? Join Icelyn Brathius as she leaves everything she has ever known to journey to the place no one was ever supposed to go.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0  (1)
Characters 
 
5.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
5.0  (1)
(Updated: June 18, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Beauty and Hope Delivered by Disaster and Monsters

Mountaintop. Humanity’s last stand, after near obliteration from the Threat Below, by which Jason Latshaw’s epic book is titled. The humbled hundred or so inhabitants of Mountaintop, called the Kith, rely on legend mixed with history of the Apriori, their ancestors who once ruled the earth. The Kith are walled into their home in the sky by fear and the persistent Cloudline that obscures vision of Down Below. Their world is meager and desperate, their society stratified and rigid. In the first few pages, a hard line is drawn between main character Icelyn, the prissy, intelligent Cognate daughter of the Kith’s leader, and Adorane, her Veritas best friend and possible brave, brawny love interest. Segregation and prejudice are accepted here as the way for a fragile existence to survive.

Not thrive. Imagine the peak of a mountain at the top of the world, after civilization has fled a deadly, mysterious plague and the planet has probably been flooded by rising oceans. The air is thin. Scrubby trees are more like bushes. Acorn cakes are a staple. Later in the book, Icelyn finds a comb Down Below and she marvels at it. Has she never brushed her hair? You’ll be amazed when you find out what ultrabears and ultralions are. Yes, Mountaintop is the kind of place that, should humanity survive, what’s the point? It’s clear this place is only half of the story. Almost immediately, Icelyn and Adorane wander beyond a rotting, three-hundred-year-old barrier between the apparent safety of Mountaintop and the rumored certain death of Down Below, and there is no doubt about where our heroine and her beau will end up.

But Latshaw keeps his readers guessing right along with the sheltered, pampered Icelyn. The mystery is compelling, even darn right frightening, and each revelation along the way is worth it, not rushed or predictable. In fact, every time I thought I’d figured it out—what the Threatbelows are, or how humanity met its fate, or even who Icelyn herself is—I was surprised by Latshaw’s imagination. He speaks through his vivid characters, some that I adored and others I’d like to choke, and the action happens in their choices, dialogue, and thoughts. Whether the cowardly Kith leader is squirming, the devoted and fearless Eveshone is rescuing Icelyn again, or the constantly shifting morals of Torrain are playing out, this world is revealed by those living in it.

My favorite part, however, is that Latshaw isn’t afraid to delve deeper than his own story. Though fantastical and unique, his world bears enough resemblance to ours to stoke fear and tickle conscience. Gun violence in Mountaintop mirrors the debate over our right to bear arms, especially when these fictitious leaders are using guns to proliferate fear and violence as a means to control the population. One of them has found an ancient text and quotes Jenny Holzer, “Fear is the most elegant weapon. Your hands are never messy. Threatening bodily harm is crude. Work instead on minds & beliefs, play insecurities like a piano.” Latshaw is good at turning a phrase to grab attention, and we find essential truths in gentle statements as well: “So much of life is lived looking away from each other, afraid to face a person as they really are, deflecting feelings and ignoring vital moments.” Or, not so gentle: “They live in a world of magic, but take it all as a matter of course. They didn’t realize it, but they were Gods.” This last is spoken of the extinct Apriori, when Icelyn sees their cellphones and flat screens in a memory. Gods who invented their own demise? Nervous laugher from the crowd…

The Threat Below would be equally enjoyed by both genders, with a strong, admirable heroine (feminine and regal, with very little whining) and plenty of action and violence (gruesome, though not gratuitous). Latshaw’s writing is top-notch, and teens ready to move onto more adult literature should be able to handle the language and the length of this book. Adults will love it just as much, because there are many layers of understanding in The Threat Below, sort of like a Disney movie that is fun for kids but only truly understood by their parents. Not that this book is an easy fairytale read, and don’t be looking for a sweet ending tied up in a pretty package. The journey is worth it, though, and you’ll love every step. Latshaw delivers beauty and hope in a way you’d never expect.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Loneliest Girl in The Universe
A surprising and gripping sci-fi thriller with a killer twist...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dragon-Slayers_Low Res.jpg
A reverse harem with a powerful magical heroine, a mystery...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fire and Fairies by Kristin D Van Risseghem low resolution.jpg
Forbidden love. Agony. Heartbreak. Sidelle never wanted...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3)
Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I've always been the prey. All Seventeen-year-old...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ignited (Dance of the Elements, #1)
A NOBLE DAUGHTER. A FORMER SLAVE. SCORCHED EARTH AND...
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
Royals
Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
SoulCatchers_600x900.jpg
Whoever kills the wolf becomes the wolf… ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bring Me Their Hearts
Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier...
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik
This is Noah Oakman → sixteen, Bowie believer, concise...
 
5.0
 
3.7 (1)
Playing Her Secret Crush
All her life, Katie has been chosen last for everything:...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Princess of Windswept (#1)
Danni is a normal teenage girl until she gets an...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Milla Takes Charge (Disney: Daring Dreamers Club #1)
Milla loves nothing more than imagining grand adventures in the...
 
4.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
The House of One Thousand Eyes
Who can Lena trust to help her find out the...
 
0.0
 
4.7 (1)
Where I Found You (Sea)
After her mother's plane went missing over the Indian Ocean,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Classes are Canceled
This series is part of Scholastic's early...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Always Forever Maybe
 
5.0
"It isn't always easy to love a book that talks about a dark subject, but Rissi captivated me with her..."
The Loneliest Girl in The Universe
 
5.0
"What worked: This is one of those books you can't put down! I literally stayed up until the early morning..."
 
2.7
""Pretties" is a continuation of the Uglies series where Tally Youngblood has now returned to the city and become a..."
Bring Me Their Hearts
 
5.0
""Bring Me Their Hearts" was a fantastic YA fantasy that I wish I could give more than 5 stars to!..."
Fawkes
 
2.0
""Fawkes" is a YA historical fantasy that sounds so interesting! Unfortunately, I could not get into it. In this alternate..."
Fireblood (Frostblood #2)
 
4.0
""Fireblood" was a pretty good continuation of the Frostblood Saga. While the first book took place in the land of..."
Thief of Lies
 
4.0
"“Thief of Lies” is the first in the Library Jumpers series. It had me hooked at the start but lost..."
The Waking Land
 
5.0
"“The Waking Land” is an enthralling YA fantasy that follows Elanna Valtai. The prologue shows us Elanna’s nightmares over the..."
The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles #1)
 
3.0
""The Adoration of Jenna Fox" is the story of a teenager who wakes up from a coma without any memories..."
Zombie Abbey
 
2.3
""Zombie Abbey" is Downton Abbey with zombies (and characters names changed). Although it's been a while since I watched Downton..."
Heartless
 
4.0
""Heartless" is the origin story for the Queen of Hearts (of Alice in Wonderland fame). Catherine, destined to be the..."
All The Crooked Saints
 
4.0
""All the Crooked Saints" is YA fiction with a heavy dose of magical realism. The Soria family lives in Bicho..."
Beastly (Kendra Chronicles #1)
 
5.0
""Beastly" is a beautiful and amazing story of second chances, the importance of who you are within, and love. A..."
Don't Look Back
 
4.0
""Don't Look Back" is a one-off thriller from Jennifer L. Armentrout. It begins with Samantha appearing bloody and beat up..."
Seven Days of You
 
4.0
""Seven Days of You" follows Sophia during her last week in Tokyo, where she has lived for the last four..."
When the Moon Was Ours
 
5.0
""When the Moon was Ours" is a hauntingly beautiful and lyrical masterpiece. McLemore is an incredible storyteller. The words do..."
Finding Audrey
 
4.0
"I think this is one of Kinsella's finest books. There is so much heart, struggle, and soul to this book...."
Reclaiming Shilo Snow
 
4.0
""Reclaiming Shilo Snow" is an even better continuation of "The Evaporation of Sofi Snow" duology. All the story lines are..."
Bewitching (Kendra Chronicles #2)
 
4.0
""Bewitching" continues the story of the witch Kendra and retells multiple fairytales. The book begins with her origin story, losing..."
Nexis (Tricksters #1)
 
5.0
""Nexis" is a fantastic and imaginative sci-fi novel. Ellani begins the novel as a petulant teenager, upset with her father..."