After finishing this book, I'm ready to read on! I have The Star Dwellers and The Sun Dwellers ready and waiting. I really enjoy dystopian novels, and YA dystopians especially. I loved the underground world presented here and its backstory was supplied without getting too expository. The "tri-realms" are basically set up as a caste system, and the U.S. has gone underground hundreds of years ago and has since degenerated into a monarchy run by an arse of a dictator. Pretty cool set up. This story, set in this cool underground world, has lots of action and bright spots of humor to counter the sadness and the dreariness of fighting for survival. This story unfolds as the hero and heroine go about their personal quests, then develops into a broader scope as they realize they have a greater purpose. Also, some good moments in here with the secondary characters that really added depth to the novel. I love great secondary characters! But on to our main characters...
Our heroine, Adele (a Moon Dweller), is strong and I like that. While not getting too detailed on why her parents chose to train her up the way they did (or exactly why they were branded traitors), you can believe she is as bad of an ass as Estes makes her. Same with our hero, Tristan (a Sun Dweller). We get a sense of his goodness and that he takes after his mother without getting too much family backstory dumped on us. I did, at times, wish I understood some of their motivations a little more, however. I believe we will learn more about Adele's and Tristan's families, which will fill out more of the series plot. I also wish there had been a little exposition on the love story aspect of this novel, since the hero and heroine are mysteriously drawn to each other by a puzzling physical pain which manifests when the two are around each other. Not what you would think would draw two people together, but it seems to get them aware of each other and seeking answers. We, however, don't get the answer to that puzzle yet! I think that was my biggest complaint about this story. I don't like "insta-love" unless I understand the "why" of it. My other complaint was some of the convenient accidents that occurred to help the characters along. These are touted in the novel as being more than coincidence, however, even if the characters don't understand the reasoning yet. I think we'll find out, though, on both counts, so I will keep reading.
Although not what I would call riveting, overall, this book was well written and interesting enough for me to keep reading the series.
I received a free copy of this book to read and review. (I purchase the next two in the series!)