by Gretchen Powell
Series: Terrestrials #1
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Publisher: Hopewell Media
Publication: December 12th 2012
A broken and desolate Earth. A young girl struggling to survive. A lost boy with a powerful secret.
A discovery that will change everything.
In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth’s population, humanity is split in two: The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn across a dying planet. Eighteen-year-old Terra Rhodon is a terrestrial–a denizen of the barren groundworld–who makes her living as a scav. Long abandoned by her father, her caregivers gone, Terra supports herself and her younger brother, Mica, by scouring the earth for discarded scraps and metals to recycle for profit. One day, while on a routine scavenging run, she discovers something that shocks her home settlement of Genesis X-16. When the value of her discovery is revealed, Terra’s world is turned upside down.
Terra suddenly finds herself asking questions no one will answer. Her search for the truth leads her to Adam–a beguiling skydweller unlike any she has ever met. But Adam has secrets and a quest of his own, and with him by her side, the world Terra thought she knew begins to unravel. Soon her discoveries unearth a terrifying conspiracy that has the potential to shatter everything–a revelation that will test the bonds of loyalty, family, and love.
Pros: Finally, a dystopian novel worthy of my precious time! This is a gripping tale that does not relent. Gretchen Powell, you have a new stalker.
Cons: Zero. Zilch. I can’t find a thing to complain about.
Overall: Terra is an impressive debut novel! It’s not often I award a debut novel with five stars; not because it’s a debut novel, but because there are generally issues that need tweaking. Powell builds a dystopian world in which her richly developed characters shine brighter than the sun.
Terra is an unparalleled story about a strong female heroine by the name of Terra, and her younger brother Mica. The siblings live in a wasteland of sorts after a skycity falls to Earth and releases a plague. There are settlements where the survivors live, even centuries later, and areas that are not to be traveled unless you want to be quarantined for who knows how long, possibly never to be seen again. Terra and Mica live in Genesis X-16, where she scavenges for items like metal scraps, copper wire, plastic bits and whatever else she can find to trade in for credits. She has the great responsibility of taking care of Mica ever since her grandma passed. Their mother had died, and their father was a complete loser who took off on them. After trading in a mysterious item, that she collected while scavenging out in the Dead Woods one day, life as Terra knew it ceases to exist.
After the standard introductions and brief history in chapter one, this book took off at a gallop and never slowed its pace. I desperately wanted to lock myself in a padded cell just so I could read without interruption. Powell’s writing flows beautifully, never missing an important detail, and never describing something to the point of killing it. The action is intense, the villains fierce, and the storyline brilliant. We are talking chew your nails off, fidget in your seat kind of suspense in this book. I am still having a hard time believing that Terra is a debut novel. I heard some people comparing this book to The Hunger Games. To that I say “Pfft!” And that’s the friendly version of my response. This is a unique tale, all it’s own, masterfully created by Powell, who I now plan to stalk daily until I get something new from her! It’s no easy task to find a dystopian novel that hasn’t already been played out. When you find a gem like Terra, give it it’s due worship and praise.
I recommend this to anyone that loved The Hunger Games. Ha! Are you kidding me? I recommend this to everyone that enjoys suspenseful, non-stop action in a dystopian/sci-fi setting. It’s not a prerequisite to speak fluent Klingon to fall in love with a book that has science fiction elements, just so you know.
Start reading chapters 1 & 2 right now.
About the Author
Half-Chinese and the daughter of a US diplomat, Gretchen Powell spent her childhood growing up in
far-off places. She made it all the way to her mid-twenties whilst maintaining her deep-seated love for
young adult novels, so she decided to write one of her own.
Her creative process involves copious amounts of Sour Patch Kids and sleeping fitfully. Her many
interests include anything with polka dots, Harry Potter, and playing the ukulele.
When she isn’t crafting devastated futuristic worlds and fiery heroines, Gretchen also writes a healthy
living blog, entitled “Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!”
She lives in Northern Virginia with her two adorable miniature schnauzers. They wear many sweaters.
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