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Posted June 7, 2013
Genre: YA dystopian Review: Gretchen Powell weaves together
Genre: YA dystopianWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Gretchen Powell weaves together a complex world set in a dystopian society. North America is split into two parts: the groundworld
and the skyworld. Terrestrials live on the groundworld, where the once glorious United States is divided into four quadrants: North,
East, South and West. Skydwellers live in floating cities, far away from the plights of the terrestrials.
Terra, the main character of this novel, is an eighteen-year-old girl struggling to support her thirteen-year-old brother, Mica. They live
in the South Quadrant, one of the poorest quadrants of the four. Their mother died and their father ran off on them when Terra was fifteen. After her abandoned them, Terra lost interest in living and taking care of her brother. However, when school officials had to carry Mica home one day because he passed out due to malnutrition and lack of care, Terra snaps out of her stupor and has ever since then been extremely protective of him. She is willing to do anything to make sure she never fails to take care of him, even if this means she has to become a scav.
A scav, short for scavenger, is a person who makes a living by collecting “trash” dropped by trash barges from the skycities. At the
collection center, scavs can turn in their finds for steel (points), the current currency. However, life as a scav is dangerous. Raiders
attack scavs and steal their goods. Sometimes they kill scavs as well. But Terra doesn’t let that little inconvenience stop her.
One day, she finds an unusual item while scavenging. And from that point out, Terra’s life begins to spiral out of control. She meets a
kyboy named Adam, who claimed he got separated from his research team. His team had been sent to the groundworld to collect data
. Okay, I’m not going to say anymore about the plot because I don’t want to give anything away….there’s plenty of twists and turns
though, so consider yourself warned!
Onto the characters…I liked them well enough, but I thought they were rather dramatic. Adam is the classic “mysterious-and-sexy-boy”;
I would’ve appreciated some more dimensions to his character. Terra is very edgy and independent. Personally, I sometimes find her
acting more like a sixteen year old than an eighteen year old. There is some romance between Terra and Adam, but I find it kind of
forced and awkward. Nevertheless, the plot makes up for any lacking in characters.
As mentioned before, I absolutely adore the plot of Terra. It was fast, it was intense and it never let me off the hook. I finished the entire
book in one sitting. Also, there were many curves I didn’t see coming as the novel progressed and I love surprises.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a fast paced, YA dystopian thriller, then this is the book for you.
*ides and plot were original
*love the new inventions/gadgets the author created
*a lot of action
*the characters to some degree—not enough to make me put down the book, but some of their actions really annoy me
(what’s with all those cocky/sly/half grins?)
*the romance part of the novel
Posted May 18, 2013
I really enjoyed Terra, I thought it was a fantastic sci-fi/dyst
I really enjoyed Terra, I thought it was a fantastic sci-fi/dystopian read and would recommend it to fans of either genre.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The story was a little predictable in place but more often than not, I didn't put the pieces together and ended up being totally surprised. The world was fantastic and gripping I would've loved to see more of it and hopefully we will in the next book/books!
Scavenging was a great job, as long as you get past all the dangers and forget how taxing the work is, it sounds really fun! I would've liked to have seen more of the action/mystery type thrills I got when Terra goes searching again and stumbles upon unwelcome company, it led to some really engaging, intense scenes! The rest of the book was great too but I would've liked to see some more of that gripping, edge-of-your-seat action and maybe a bit more secretive investigation taking place.
I didn't have a problem with any of the characters but I don't feel I really fell in love with any of them, I think I needed to see them on a deeper level to fully appreciate them. Mica was probably one of my favourite characters even though we didn't see too much of him, and I only began taking a real interest in him towards the end of the book.
Terra had a lot of elements I enjoyed and mixing up genres gave it a unique flair, making it stand out from the crowd. I thought the two different social worlds and the way the systems (money, trading, food, etc.) on the ground operated were really interesting and fun. I am looking forward to the rest of the series and am excited as to what happens in the next installment!
Posted May 17, 2013
I'm always on the look out for new dystopias to read, so when I
I'm always on the look out for new dystopias to read, so when I first read the description for Terra, I was sold, and I just have to say that Terra lived up to my expectations completely! It was definitely a thrill to read and I highly recommend it. :DWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The main character of the book is actually also named Terra, and she works as a scav (a.k.a. a scavenger), someone who collects waste on the ground so that it can be recycled and used by the people in the skyworlds. You see, in Terra there are some people who live on Earth still, like Terra herself, and some who live in the skycites that float above the Earth's surface, but still stay in its atmosphere. The skycites are protected from the acid rain and harsh UV radiation that Earth is exposed to and live in luxury, while those on the ground live in poverty and can often only find work scavenging. Also, many years earlier a plague ravaged both the groundworld and the skyworld, killing most of the human population. Clearly, Terra is packed with a vivid back story and I felt that Gretchen Powell did a wonderful job explaining it all to the reader. I was riveted to the story and the history behind it all, and I definitely cannot wait to read more in this series!
Along with its amazing back story, the characters of Terra were fantastic! There weren't actually too many characters because Terra stuck mostly to herself, but the ones that were prominent were all wonderful. Terra was an amazing narrator, and although she tried to keep a distance from others I could not help empathizing and relating to her. She worked so hard to provide for her brother Mica. She was also brave, and constantly asked questions, which I thoroughly enjoyed because it usually provided some awesome banter with the other characters...mostly Adam. ;) I also loved her brother Mica. Although their circumstances weren't the greatest, Terra and Mica were still so close, and it was really nice to see the strong familial bond between them. Then there was Adam...oh boy did I love Adam! He was amazing and I loved how he managed to bring Terra out of her shell. I also really...and I mean REALLY loved Terra and Adam together. I was constantly smiling...and even giggling over their interactions...especially once Terra finally let her guard down!
The story itself was complex, and there were a few unexpected twists that I really enjoyed! It's not often that a book surprises me, but Terra definitely did! Overall, I just absolutely loved every single part of this book. The characters, the back story, the story itself, and the writing...all were so well done on their own, and put together they made for an amazing book! I'd recommend Terra to those who like dystopias with unique environments and vivid back stories, and if you enjoy a romance where the female lead is hesitant....but opens up eventually. :)
* I was provided with an ebook of Terra for an honest review and to participate in a blog tour.
* This review also appears on my blog and other social media sites.
Posted May 16, 2013
I was really excited to read Terra by Gretchen Powell and I¿m ha
I was really excited to read Terra by Gretchen Powell and I’m happy to say that I loved it. I kept thinking, I need to get a scav bag like Terra’s. I’m not sure why or what I would do with it but I was just so into the book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I loved the world that Gretchen created in Terra. It’s actually not that big as it centers around the terrestrial settlement Genesis X-16 or sixteen as they usually call it. Then there are the sky cities, which we don’t really hang out on but Terra explains them as best she can. She has only seen them herself by way of the television. I’ve always had a fascination with things like airships, so a whole floating city completely intrigues me. We also have all the interesting gadgets that come into play as well. Especially the tech that Adam finds and brings along with him. This book had a real dystopia/sci-fi feel but not to the extent that a non-sci-fi person wouldn’t want to read it.
We are in a dystopia world, where the classes are divided by skydwellers and Terrestrials. The settlements are what would be considered the poorer class. They have to take on odd jobs, one of which includes scavenging. This is kind of like gathering soda cans and turning them into a collection, or when people steal copper wire from construction sites to sell. That’s what I thought of anyway. The Terrestrials have barely enough to get by and it’s what the Skydwellers provide them. You earn Steel which is how you buy things. There is also rationing day where you get can of glup to eat. Not very appetizing but it sustains them. Real food is a thing of the past for most terrestials unless you come into some kind of windfall. Which is exactly what happens to Terra, unfortunately for her she is the curious sort and ends up finding herself caught up in more than she bargains for, the skydwellers are hiding more than she realizes.
Terra is pretty kick-butt character. She is the tom boy variety, one of the few female scavengers since the raiders can be pretty unpleasant when they are out in the fields. She takes care of her younger brother Mica who is actually a teenager himself.
I loved Mica too, he doesn’t really need protecting. He is thirteen almost fourteen and very intelligent. I enjoyed the bantering that often happens between the siblings. They more take care of each other rather than one over the other. Plus we really see Mica grow as the book progresses and it’s nice to see that since he isn’t the main character but still has an important role.
Adam made me laugh. He is the perfect love interest for Terra. Very elusive and has mastered that I’m not lying; I’m just not elaborating kind of thing. I like that he is able to push Terra’s buttons without pushing her too far. Their relationship grows very naturally and they have some really cute dialogue between them.
“Who are you?” I ask.
“I’m Adam. I thought we’d met.”
“I’m being serious.”
“So am I.”
They start off more as friends and then it starts to develop into something more as it becomes obvious they attracted to one another. Terra is more standoffish at first being that she doesn’t want to involve herself in more hurtful situations then she already has.
I loved this plot! There is a main plot point that comes out later in the book that I did not expect and then I felt myself flying through the pages. Not that I was going at a slow pace in the beginning. I just thought the plot was very well drawn out. Things didn’t happen to fast or come out of nowhere and even though I had surprises it wasn’t like oh this makes no sense. Everything blended together well and had a good flow. There was also a cliffhanger but it’s not the kind that makes you think how dare you do that to me. We wrap up things in book one well and it’s a great hanger on for book two. Definitely makes me want to read it.
Posted May 16, 2013
I¿ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately. I¿ve enjoyed almo
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I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately. I’ve enjoyed almost everything to an extent, some quite a lot, but it’s been a while since a book has wowed me, has made me sit up and take notice and caused me to think “this has to go on my list of Favorite Books of 2013″. Finally, I’ve found one and I have Gretchen Powell to thank for it.
Terra, Adam and Mica are three characters that will stick in my mind for a long time and that’s largely because I became invested in all three. Ms. Powell made me feel as though I’ve watched these kids grow up and become a force to be reckoned with. Terra is one of the most appealing young women characters I’ve come across; she’s determined, caring, very brave and she wants nothing more than to do what’s right for her little brother but she’s no goody two shoes. Adam is, if anything, a mite too good to be true but it’s kind of refreshing to have a love interest who’s really an equal with the girl in many ways. Then there’s Mica, such a typical 13-year-old, snark and all, and we get to see him mature within a few months into a 14-year-old who’s still snarky but beginning to show us the man he’ll eventually become.
And Prime Morrigan Whitlock? My goodness, this is a villain you love to hate and I can’t wait to find out what evil she’ll be up to next along with the rest of her ilk.
Terra’s world is fascinating with its sharp divide between the terrestrials and the skydwellers and the author has constructed the groundworld with an eye to detail that brings it into sharp focus for the reader. I went along with Terra and Adam during her stint as tour guide around the city and, in fact, that was a very clever way for the author to let us see and experience this world rather than having Terra tell Adam, and the reader, about the city. One of the elements that I’m interested to know more about is the rain—I want to know how it became so acidic and how Adam’s filter works and I hope to find out more about that in the future.
Hats off to Ms. Powell for her choice of Terra’s name. After all, what better name can there be to represent what Earth of the very distant future could be like? That future is definitely in peril and the ending of Terra, while not precisely a cliffhanger, certainly left me eager for more. I really do hope the second book will be coming soon.
One last note—from a former naysayer who has learned to winnow the gems from the dreck, Terra is a self-published novel that is head and shoulders above much of the fiction available today from any source and it will definitely be on my list of favorite books of 2013.
Posted May 8, 2013
Not what I hoped it would be...
Hmm, let's see, how do I describe all the aspects of Terra? A post-apocalyptic world set on a dying planet. CHECK! A governmental conspiracy and shady cover-up attempt. CHECK! A kick-ass heroine fighting for the future of all mankind. CHECK! Hunky mysterious loner-dude to save the day. CHECK! Terra has all of the qualities that I typically look for in a dystopian YA. Now all that being said, why is it I was left with such a feeling of dissatisfaction in the end?It's hard to explain but something just didn't click and I wish I had a better way to describe my lack of enthusiasm for this book but I don't. I felt like Powell tried too hard and there was too much going on --- the governmental conspiracy bit, the hard-hitting environmental message, class issues, aliens and... wait, have I said too much? Natch. There's just SO much happening that it didn't feel cohesive or well thought-out. And I guess my biggest issue was my connection to the characters --- as in, there wasn't one. I just didn't care. It's not like they were bad, they were just bland shells of characters that I've seen before. I wanted someone unique, someone who had some consistency (as in other than their consistently fluctuating personality, I mean). And I guess if you don't care about the characters, no matter how amazing the plot might be, that book isn't going to fare well. I feel kinda bad about railing on this book because I know it meant well and all, and I guess if I can say one good thing about it, it's that I really appreciated Powell's choice in character names. Most of our main peeps (Terra, Mica and Adam) all have cleverly appropriated names that related to some key aspect of the book, whether it be a plot or an overall theme. Another thing I enjoyed was that Terra is one of those books that promoes a message, one which is part environmental and part human rights. But while those are both issues I fully support, the book often comes across as heavy-handed and preachy (even for my liking). That being said, however in-your-face the message is, it's one I can get down with having worked in an envrionmental non-profit for over three years. I'd just like to note that it might not be for everyone due to its intensity. Basically, every time I had a choice of picking up this book or doing something else, well, I generally leaned towards doing that something else. I mustered up a lot of effort to finish Terra, which is such a shame because it could've been SO MUCH MORE. Instead it came off feeling hollow and empty. I'm not sure if this is Powell's first attempt at writing dystopia but the book came off feeling a bit too novice. I do think it's a good intro for those starting into the dystopia genre.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 2, 2013
I have to admit that I went in, not expecting too much from this
I have to admit that I went in, not expecting too much from this book. The synopsis sounded all right, and I liked the cover, but well, dystopian novels kind of have this way of being either ‘above and beyond’ or ‘under and way under’. Terra was a pleasant surprise, offering engaging, sometimes even sheer amazing characters, a well-constructed dystopian world and a great plot.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
After a plague, earth is split into two parts. The sky is inhabited by skywalkers, the rich people of the world, who live in floating cities more amazing than you could even imagine. On earth all that’s left are the terrestrials, and Terra is one of those. I really loved her name, because of the symbolism (Terra meaning Earth in Latin). She lives there with her brother Mica, and in true scavenger-like fashion she searches what’s left of the earth for anything they can use to survive. Then there’s the supreme goverment, who’s basically evil, and well, it was pretty much like the Hunger Games reinvented at that point. Thankfully that turned around rather quickly, as the author kept on pouring more and more original elements into the story.
I liked the idea of the floating cities and the terrestrials left on earth. I also liked Adam, and the mystery surrounding him. Especially with the plot twist toward the idea, which left me dumbfounded, and actually made me enjoy the book a lot more. It’s filled with all these little plot twists, some of course more surprising than others, but it’s clear the author put a great deal of work into this book.
Talking about the book itself, for an indie published book, the editing is stellar. I read a lot of indie and self-published books, and only about 5% of them reach the editing level I found here.
Back to the characters now. I liked Terra, because she showed initiative and ambition, but at times I felt like she needed a desperate wake up call. She was a well-developed character though, and I enjoyed reading about her and the world around her.
What impressed me most however was the setting. The author obviously has a lot of creativity, and her world-building is amazing. My only ‘bad’ point here would be that there’s a lot of info-dumping going on at the start, and you have to bite through that to get to the story. But once you get there, it’s a fast-paced roller coaster filled with action scenes, romance and suspense until the end.
If you’re a fan of dystopian novels, or young adult in general, Terra is a great choice. It’s a highly creative, well-written, enjoyable read.
Posted March 22, 2013
I couldn¿t put this book down. I was enthralled from the moment
I couldn’t put this book down.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I was enthralled from the moment I started reading it, irritated when I had to stop to eat meals. I finished it in two days but only because my own life prohibited me from reading it all in one go.
The entire book was so well balanced. The futuristic setting was well constructed and thoroughly believable. The main character, Terra, is strong. She's feisty and tough with a hint of the young teenage girl she would've have been had the circumstances been different. The plot moved on at a steady pace, my mind never drifted, I never felt it was repetitive (my most common complaint with novels)
Powell's words wove such a strong image in my mind that I literally panicked for a split second when I was out and it started to rain on me. I thought my skin was going to be burned by acid rain- I'd forgotten I was safe on an Earth where water falls from the sky not chemicals.
My only disappointment is that this book was only published at the end of last year which means I'll have to wait to read the next book in the series. I want to read it right now!!!
Posted March 12, 2013
Posted January 11, 2013
Exciting debut for fans of young adult dystopian lit!
As a debut novel, Terra feels very polished! It was a well crafted story that wasn't the least bit sloppy. At first, it felt a little too similar to the Hunger Games (lead female struggling to get by and protect younger sibling, bleak setting, jerkwad government). That's not to say it wasn't good. I couldn't put it down and flew through it in about 2-3 days. The action had me turning pages at a rapid rate to find out what happens next, and Powell has mastered ending almost every chapter with a surprise (I could never pause to put it down at the end of the chapter, had to read the first page of the next one each time!!). My heart was pumping as Terra raced to escape danger; I could really feel the adrenaline! When you get to the big twist, you'll see this story is going to be quite different from the Hunger Games. (Hint, hint, It's making me want to re-watch Battlestar Galactica ;)) Adam's character started out as quite the mystery, but turns out, it's even more than I could have guessed. I can't wait to see where the second book goes!! Another great quality about the book is the descriptive wording. I could clearly see each scene in my mind, and it played out like a hit action movie (I'm sure Hollywood will be calling soon). I could picture each character's gestures, facial expressions and fast actions effortlessly. I wouldn't say I'm completely in love with Terra and Adam yet, I would classify them more as friendly acquaintances now. But I'm very interested to get to know them better in book 2. I can imagine there is a lot more in store for them!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I look forward to watching Powell hone her craft as her next creations hit the shelves!
Posted January 9, 2013
Posted January 4, 2013
A new YA series I've been sucked into! When I first began readin
A new YA series I've been sucked into! When I first began reading this book, Terra started out with a similar dystopian setting and what seemed to be a similar storyline to the Hunger Games... but it quickly became apparent that this was not quite the same story I'd read before. It keeps you guessing, and with so many of my questions unanswered, I couldn't put it down until I had gotten to the end. I think as a first book in the series, it answers just enough of those questions to leave you satisfied with the book at the end, but still eager to learn more.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Powell creates a distinct environment of a post-plague-ridden world, and she breathes life into her characters that make them both likeable and believable. I'm looking forward to see what twists and turns lie ahead for Terra and Adam in the sequel!
Posted December 30, 2012
Loved loved loved!
I have been reading the authors blog for almost a year now and love it but i was still skeptical about how this book was going to be. I went back and forth on buying it or not but i am SO glad that i did! This book and the characters sucked me in right away and i could not put it down. Amazing! Sad i have to wait to see what happens next!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 29, 2012
Captivating and imaginitive!
Loved the creative look at future earth where those left onr earth are left to scavenge for survival and the elite live in the sky oblivious to the hardships below.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 25, 2012
Two of my favorite genres of reading are fantasy and sci-fi. In
Two of my favorite genres of reading are fantasy and sci-fi. In the sci-fi genre, I have a keen interest for dystopian style settings. The author did a wonderful job creating an imaginative setting and leaving me wondering and wanting more as I read. Definitely looking forward to continuing the series when book 2 is released.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 19, 2012
Posted December 17, 2012
I read very little fiction. Lit yes, but little fiction. Happily
I read very little fiction. Lit yes, but little fiction. Happily, Gretchen Powell reminds me of the difference. Within the second page, I couldn't put "Terra" down (finished in one night). What Gretch does so skillfull is provide enough guides throughout the story that she lets the reader's imagination sense the fell of grime in Terra's hair, the sting of rain on the skin, and the searing sun on the back, and the reader is fully refreshed with the clear air and water, when they appear.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Rather than telling a story, the reader is absolutely confident that Gretchen is tumbling down this white-knuckle switchback trail of a story with you, experiencing the turns and mysteries for the first time. Rather than pulling you through like malamutes dragging a sled at breakneck pace, Gretchen lets the reader set the pace beautifully by leaving points of indecision that the reader can figure out in due course. It wasn't immediately evident the relationship between earth and sky, the whats and whys of scavenging, the class difference and class impositions, and other points but I thoroughly enjoyed letting the story take me where it would, with Gretchen confirming the direction or squirming it in unexpected ways.
Gretchen's description of food was particularly noteworthy. She is a noted healthful food blogger and has her own food issues. That she would weave that as a key sensory point in the story is particularly poignant and makes me wonder how food will play out in the next
The archetype of the story mimics well Madeline L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time," a fav when I was a kid. Love the geek survivalist female strength!
Posted December 14, 2012
I received a copy from the author and having read some of her sh
I received a copy from the author and having read some of her short stories before, I went in knowing that the writing would be solid and elegant. I knew she was a fan of The Hunger Games books, and so I wondered if it would draw similarities since both deal with a dystopian world. I was wrong. Happily wrong! The world that Gretchen created is real, almost scarily so as it deals with what happens after our natural resources are depleted, something we hear in the news a lot now.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I really don’t want to give any spoilers of the plot, so all I’ll say is that the description given just barely scratches the surface of this epic adventure.
It’s rare that I tear up or laugh out loud when I read a book, but Terra made me do both of those and on multiple occasions.
When reading any book/watching a movie, I always try to predict what will happen, and there are some stories where that’s easy, but in this book? I had NO idea where it was going, and then went “what?!” as I found out more and more. The story draws you in so innocently, and you wonder when it happened that you finished the book, with questions still buzzing around in your head as to what will happen next.
It’s been a few days since I finished the book, but I’m still thinking about it: the wonderful (well, wonderful in a “wow their life sucks” kind of way) world, the technology that makes it work, the politics, the people, and the unpredictable future. I want to say I have an idea where the sequel will go, but having learned that I couldn’t predict anything in this one, I’m looking forward to being astounded again.
If you liked The Hunger Games or any TV shows by J.J. Abrams (Lost, Revolution) then this book is for you.
Posted December 11, 2012
After being sent an advanced copy of Terra from the author, I was skeptical that yet another Young Adult dystopian fiction novel would reel me in the same way others have (like the Hunger Games and the Maze Runner). I am so happy to announce that I was so wrong to be skeptical! Terra is an incredibly written story that grabs the reader from the very first pages. I was able to read Terra in about a day - it's a page turner for sure! My only complaint is that the second book isn't already in my hands. I am so excited to see how Terra and Adam (and the other characters) grow and develop in the next book, and how they will overcome different obstacles.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 27, 2013
No text was provided for this review.