Sixteen-year-old Derry and her brother live in perpetual fear of capture. They survive underground on a scorched earth overrun by gangs, clones, and mysterious hoverships. When her brother goes missing, Derry’s only hope of finding him is to strike a deal with a group of cutthroat subversives. Desperate to save her brother, she leads a daring raid to uncover the secrets behind the Sweepers’ hoverships, but she soon finds out the world she knows is a lie.
Keeping her brother alive may require trusting her enemy and opening her heart to something she never thought possible.
Immurement is the first book in The Undergrounders Series, a sci-fi dystopian thriller trilogy.
Some decide with their heart, some with their mind, and others use both…
In a harsh, dystopian world Derry yearns for freedom from their underground bunker. But freedom comes at a price. Derry must access her reserves of strength and determination in order to save her family, friends, and the boy she loves from the Sweepers.
Derry is sixteen, and the Author has captured this age well. We see streaks of what Derry will be, while seeing where she needs to develop. She makes mistakes, and - occassionally - doesn’t learn from them the first time. She is determined, gritty, grows in confidence, and displays kindness.
The other characters are important, yet none of them become the main focus throughout the book. Often the writing in this genre is overwhelmed by a love interest, and Immurement has successfully avoided instalove, focusing on the main protagonist’s growth. This doesn’t stop us from connecting to other characters; Mason, Big Ed (my favourite), and Owen.
The detail is well-crafted. There are many different groups; the rogues, the undergrounders (and the factions within the bunkers), and the antagonists - even clones. The readers gets a good sense of each of these factions.
The setting is mostly clear with a strong sense of moutainous bush and dark, dank underground tunnels, however the craniopolis description is swallowed by the high-action of the climax.
It is obvious the Author has taken measures to inject Immurement with the small touches that reinforce authenticity.
Norma Hinken’s style is fast-paced and easy to read. This, combined with the exciting elements of her world, create the backbone for Derry’s tale. Ocassionally, the plotline became repeitive and predictable, but this is countered, somewhat, by the unpredictability of what happens in Derry’s relationships with her friends, family, and love interest(s). The Author certainly doesn’t hold back from killing off her characters, and this gave the dangerous world credibility while spurring the reader on to see what happens next.
A young adult dystopian novel which avoids the common trends within the genre, to deliver a punchy, and gritty tale of love, hope, loss, and revenge.
“Big Ed pauses and scratches the back of is neck. “There’s a bird I read about called the Australian lyrebird that can mimic any sound around it—critters, other bird’s chatter, a rushing stream. Problem is, soon enough no one knows it by its own sound anymore.” He peers at me intently through his glasses. “It’s time to make your own mark, Derry.””