Published by Henry Holt and Co. on November 15th 2016
Genres: Sci Fi, Dystopian, Young Adult
Source: the publisher
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Orion is a Subpar, expected to mine the tunnels of Outpost Five, near the deadly flash curtain. For generations, her people have chased cirium—the only element that can shield humanity from the curtain’s radioactive particles. She and her caving partner, Dram work the most treacherous tunnel, fighting past flash bats and tunnel gulls, in hopes of mining enough cirium to earn their way into the protected city.
But when newcomers arrive at Outpost Five, Orion uncovers disturbing revelations that make her question everything she thought she knew about life on both sides of the cirium shield. As conditions at the outpost grow increasingly dangerous, it’s up to Orion to forge a way past the flashfall, beyond all boundaries, beyond the world as she knows it.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Flashfall is set in a dystopian world after some sort of nuclear war. Everything is covered in radiation. Orion, Dram and the rest of the people in Outpost Five are all Subpar so they have adapted to have some sort of radiation resistance. Flashfall’s setting is more complex than just ‘basic dystopian’. Jenny Moyer really walks the line between enough detail so we know what’s going on and so much detail that it becomes overload. She holds onto the mystery of things while giving great descriptions of the Outpost, the mines and the dangers inside.
Orion and Dram are friends but they are also partners in the mine. I loved the dynamic of their friendship. They relied on each other, trusted each other and supported each other. It was a rare equal relationship in ya and I loved it. Sometimes Orion took the lead and Dram followed and sometimes it was the other way around. The slogan for this book is “Step in my Steps”. For the cavers, sometimes the only safe place is in the footsteps of the person in front of you. The slogan is the perfect motto to represent Orion and Dram.
The attention to detail in the book is particularly astounding. Orion is a miner, a caver, and is constantly mining and collecting different kinds of rocks or dust or dirt. It would have been difficult to keep track of but Jenny Moyer found a perfect way to highlight this aspect of Orion’s life. You will notice it as soon as you pick up the book, right from the first chapter. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
I love books with maps and complex worlds. However, Flashfall’s world was a little confusing because all of the places are designated with only a number. It was easy to mix up the Outposts and the Cordons and where the characters were at times. It’s easier to understand if you think about the Cordons as the first line of defense past the Flashfall. The Outposts are stationed farther out in the mountains for better mining. I would suggest really studying the map in the front of the book. I found myself thinking, “Ok now where are they again?” throughout the book, so then I would refer back to the map.
This book is stuffed full of action and adventure. People struggle against the elements, nature, their reality and the injustice of their world. It’s everything that I want my dystopias to be and more!