by Jenn Reese
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Summary (from Goodreads):
Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony’s survival is in doubt. The Kampii’s breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for way to save their people.My Review:
But can Aluna’s warrior spirit and Hoku’s tech-savvy keep them safe? Set in a world where overcrowding has led humans to adapt—growing tails to live under the ocean or wings to live on mountains—here is a ride through a future where greed and cruelty have gone unchecked, but the loyalty of friends remains true.
Above world is a unique dystopian that takes you from the depths of the ocean to high above the trees. Since people seem to have separated into different clans, what is seen as defiance by one group is respected by another. Above world is about one girl’s dream to save her people turn into a way to save the world. Aluna is a strong female character and her best friend, Hoku offers a great balance to Aluna’s knack for finding trouble. Aluna is a fighter, strong willed, and sometimes a little stubborn. Hoku is the more reasonable one and always trying to learn more and create new inventions to help Aluna reach her goal of saving their people.
After an unexpected turn of events during a ceremony, Aluna leaves her homeland and Hoku is quick to follow her, though she doesn’t realize he’s there. Once she makes it to the Above World, aka land, she’s in for a rude surprise; things are not as good as she had imagined them to be. After a little action, Aluna and Hoku meet up and avoid another brush with death. Their journey to save the Coral Kampii takes them to one of the Aviar nests (bird people), where they meet their sky cousins. While this meeting starts out not so friendly, they quickly make friends with their leader and her daughter, Calli. There is no lack of danger in their journey and they eventually pick up another member to their team, Dash from the horse clan.
The unique blend of creatures and humans makes Above World an interesting place to imagine. The story of loyalyity, friendship, and old assumptions proved worng makes this book appealing to readers of all ages and genders. I felt like there wasn’t really a slow part, it’s not non-stop action, but there is enough of it to move the story along and keep the reader at the edge of their seat. The character development and their different personalities were woven beautifully into the action of the story.
I would recommend Above World to those who like dystopian with a little sci-fi mixed in. Personally, I can’t wait to get a copy to share with my students. Happy reading!