by Gretchen Powell
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.
Terra is a dystopian/sci fi novel which in the beginning is quite reminiscent of The Hunger Games. The main character of the story, Terra, has to go out scavenging to survive like Katniss had to go hunting to survive. They both have younger siblings for whom the are responsible. And I sort of felt like I was in Panem with added districts. The town is even called Genesis X-16. The feeling was familiar, therefore, it was easy to get into the story.
One great thing about Terra is the editing. It is independently published yet did not read that way at all. I’ve read very few authors who know how to edit their own writing. Oh, the authors may know how to edit for grammar and punctuation but certainly not for content. That was not the case with this book at all. Ms. Powell put in just the right amount of detail, dialog, and narrative. Nothing in the book felt unnecessary. No unnecessary conversations or characters. It makes me crazy when there are characters just floating around in a book for no reason. And if you’ve read my reviews before, you know too much dialog is NOT my thing.
The main characters in the book were great. Adam is definitely my favorite character. His personality and story made this book. Not that I didn’t like Terra. She is strong and fiercely protective of her brother Mica, but she was pretty harsh. Once she met Adam, a whole new side to her character was revealed. Mica’s character goes through a lot of growth throughout the story as well. The secondary characters were necessary to the story and felt very real. They weren’t just there for fluff and word count.
The action and crises in the novel add so much to the story. They leave you feeling frustrated yet hopeful. The problems facing the terrestrials and the revelation that Adam makes at the end of the novel are things that I can’t wait to see played out in the sequel!
About the author
Hello there! My name is Gretchen Powell. I am 24 years old, half-Chinese, and the owner of two adorable miniature schnauzers. I am an occasional drinker of classy wines, and I wrote a book.