Citizens who report to work on time, obey the Overlord’s laws, and stay off the Synbot’s radar, live long lives. Long, dull, monotonous lives.
It’s not a bad plan for someone with a hidden, emotion-based ability to trigger earthquakes. In a world pitted against her, sixteen-year-old Rena Moon strives for a life beyond working herself to death at the factory. Seeing an alternative, she risks selling relics from the forbidden lands at Market. It becomes the worst decision she ever made. Someone kidnaps her best friend in exchange for the one thing that would end her oppression.
Driven by loyalty, Rena and seventeen-year-old Nevan Jelani, soulful composer, green thumb extraordinaire, and the secret love of her life, plot to rescue her friend and reclaim her salvage. Still, the thought lingers whether Nevan is a true hero or another thief waiting for his chance at her loot. Events spin wildly, deepening Rena’s suspicions and pushing her limit of control. With more than her chance for freedom at stake, she must decide if she’s willing to kill to protect what’s precious to her. For once, the Overlord isn’t holding all the power, but can Rena live with being reduced to what she’s trying so hard to escape?
I enjoyed this book but at some points I felt that it wasn’t totally unique. Its strong point was the ability to bring in so many classic dystopian elements that it held my attention to the end. The setting was very in line with books such as The Hunger Games or Defiance.
The citizens are stuck within their community to serve the overlord until there are able to pay their debt to society. If they came from money, debt didn’t accumulate but being poor meant that failing to meet societies standards usually meant you collected debt on a daily basis. This was very along the lines of “the rich get richer while the poor get poorer”. You find out that the main character Rena is currently “working off” her debt that has already begun to collect. One day, while out exploring with her best friend, Rena finds a cave of treasures that she believes to be her ticket out of poverty but just ends up in her best friend getting kidnapped. Rena soon embarks on a journey with her long time crush to find not only her best friend but answers to questions she didn’t even know she was asking.
Some of the citizens of Hollowcrest have special talents that allow for them to do mysterious and sometimes wonderful things. I felt this was in the same lines as Under the Never Sky. Our main character Rena happens to be able to feel and control vibrations of the earth. I am not going to lie, when I first read about the Others I thought I was going to be disinterested but I was proved wrong, these “powers” intrigued me in a way I wasn’t expecting! Rena finds that her power can be curse but can also end up saving her life.
Overall this is a great read for any fan of the dystopian genre. While at some points not totally unique, it was still a captivating read held my interest until the very last page!