Verntropa - The Balance

Verntropa - The Balance
Age Range
Release Date
August 31, 2021
ISBN 978-0-6451044-0-0
When we dream, where do we go? Olivia Merton has only ever known Earth after the shift. For fifteen years there has been no sunshine, little rain…and resources are scarce. A recurring dream provides an escape from her troubled monochrome life and leads her to a vividly coloured landscape, populated by four distinctive societies. This world is Verntropa. Her attempts to describe her dream-memories are met with distrust and she fears for her grasp on reality - until she discovers that Earth is in danger and a mission on Verntropa awaits her if she is to fulfil her destiny. Does Olivia have the prophesied power needed to strengthen the balance between her two worlds, or will it, and she, be damaged beyond repair? As Olivia’s fate unfolds, she is thrown into a fast-paced adventure where she discovers the meaning of trust and true friendship. One thing is certain – her life will never be the same again.

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(Updated: October 12, 2021)
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VERNTROPA by E.L. Clarke is a YA Sci-Fi novel in which Earth has become gray and colorless in the last fifteen years. Unbeknownst to humans, Verntropa, another planet full of vibrant life, is responsible for maintaining the balance between the two places, but forces there are trying to tip that balance into Verntropa’s favor, essentially enslaving humans. As foretold by a prophesy, it’s up to Olivia Merton, a teenage girl on Earth, to save her home, but it won’t be easy. Olivia visits Verntropa only in her dreams, and besides learning of its existence and the fact that she’s in danger, everyone around her in her waking hours on Earth has started acting weird also. She’s going to have to figure out who she can trust in both lands, otherwise life as she’s known it will be over.

The premise of this book is really fun and I’d love to see it realized in the form of a film. The visuals of the different creatures and societies that exist in Verntropa, and the orange grass and sky that change color are so cool to imagine. Plus, all of the characters have their own personalities, wants, desires, and needs that make for a lot of unexpected twists and turns. Rykie is perhaps my favorite with his inventions, quick wit, and constant ability to be in the right place at the right time.

What’s missing for me is a stronger reason why Patricia Merton is so horrible. I understand that she blames her daughter for everything, but she’s so cruel that I wanted to at least empathize with her in the end, or at the very least, understand why Jeffrey and Ben let her get away with her behavior. Along the same lines, I still feel a bit unclear on Blancher’s history. I have some big questions surrounding what transpired fifteen years ago and the events that set this story into motion. Perhaps if this expands into more books, it all will be addressed down the line.

That being said, VERNTROPA offers a fresh take on what a dystopian-like world could be with a unique premise for what’s causing climate change and what kind of life exists beyond us. Fans of the DREAM WALKER series by Kit Alloway won’t be disappointed.
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