Series: Flashfall #1
Published by Henry Holt on November 15th 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Action & Adventure, General, Science Fiction
eARC provided by Henry Holt and Company
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.
This book was pretty amazing. FLASHFALL did for miners, what RED RISING did for Mars. It had the same gritty feeling and strife for people mining in fear. This book is an absolutely splendid read. I was on the edge of my seat completely absorbed in this original story about a world divided by a flashfall. The flashfall is a literal wall of radiation that separates Orion and her people from a better world. In order to get out they must mine 400 grams of cirium, which is what keeps people alive. Orion lives in a grey, dangerous world. She have never even seen the sky. Orion and her partner Dram carve the mines to find cirium, in the hopes that they get enough to earn passage into a better life.
“Nos sumus fortunati.”
(We are the fortunate ones)
Orion is in a pretty bad situation. Her mother is dead. So of course she follows in her footsteps and becomes a miner like she was. She is the lead ore scout. Together with Dram, they are the best scouters of cirium. Orion is the best sort of female heroine. She is brave and a bit impulsive. I loved her inability to keep her mouth shut. Dram and Orion enjoy a slow burn kind of romance that made so much sense.
This book is set in dark place, with danger all around. It seems a bit horrible to be so excited about a book where people suffer radiation burns, but it is so well described. With an undercurrent of hope, Orion and Dram travel all over this world. They encounter strange things and horrifying creatures. I actually had the heebie-gebies at one point and had to put the book down. So much imagination in this story.
The only negative I could say about this book is that it seemed like it jumped around a bit at some points. Also, I got so confused about the cordons and outposts. I suppose it could be that I didn’t follow the map correctly. I have ordered the hardcover of this book so when I re-read it, and I will re-read this (even though i never ever re-read anything), I can follow along on the map. It is too close to be sure if it was just me being over eager to get through the story, or if was actually an issue with the writing. I am assuming it was me.
The feelings I have for this book cannot be adequately described in this review. Just know, I am giving this my highest recommendation to science fiction YA and dystopian YA fans. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys action packed writing.