Above World (Above World Series #1)

Above World (Above World Series #1)

4.4 18
by Jenn Reese
     
 

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A suspenseful sci-fi escapade plucks two children out of the ocean for a thrilling adventure. Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony's survival is at risk. The Kampii's breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are… See more details below

Overview

A suspenseful sci-fi escapade plucks two children out of the ocean for a thrilling adventure. Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony's survival is at risk. The Kampii's breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for way to save their people. But can Aluna's fierce determination and fighting skills and Hoku's tech-savvy keep them safe? Set in a world where overcrowding has led humans to adapt - growing tails to live under the ocean or wings to live on mountains - here is a ride through a future where greed and cruelty have gone unchecked, but the loyalty of friends remains true.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Above World is a fish-out-of-water fantasy that could have been great, but ultimately barely stays afloat. There are a multitude of plot contrivances and too many well-intended life lessons. Readers might be able to root for the likable yet naive characters if they weren't so busy deflecting the skepticism surrounding all the happy resolutions to the protagonists' problems. Aluna, a 13-year-old who has yet to grow her mermaid tail, and her best guy pal, Hoku, swim off to save the Kampii. Conveniently armed with a box containing the secrets they'll need, they go ashore to find out why their breathing necklaces, without which the Kampii cannot exist underwater, are failing. Too coincidentally, except for the evil ruler behind the attempt to destroy the Kampii, all the other evil creatures they meet along the way turn out to be honorable and aid the friends as the twosome swells to four, plus a friendly robotic raccoon. There's even a romance between the battles. It's all just too neat and nice. The tale is cluttered as it simultaneously tries to address gender roles and environmental issues and show readers that ordinary people can achieve the impossible if they are honorable, strong, and true to themselves. This is a burden too heavy to allow the appealing characters and action-driven plot to prevail.—Cindy Wall, Southington Library & Museum, CT
Publishers Weekly
First-time author Reese takes mermaids (and other mythological hybrid creatures) into postapocalyptic territory in a straightforward but exciting adventure. Aluna, a hotheaded 13-year-old Kampii who is just about to trade her legs for a tail in a coming-of-age ceremony, has discovered that the poorly understood mechanisms that support her isolated, underwater community are beginning to break down. Defying the Elders and accompanied by her loyal sidekick, technophilic Hoku, Aluna sets out to find HydroTek, the long-lost source of her people’s technology. Aluna and Hoku are determined and resourceful protagonists, and the novel’s hybrid species are fun and cleverly imagined (the birdlike Avians factor heavily into this installment); the Upgraders, who murder other post-humans for their body parts, are sadistic, one-dimensional monsters that owe a thing or two to the Borg of Star Trek. Action-seeking readers should enjoy the many revelations, twists, and hand-to-claw battle sequences, and fierce, take-charge Aluna is the kind of heroine who is easy to get behind. An open-ended conclusion leaves the door to Reese’s futuristic world wide open for future adventures. Ages 10–up. Agent: Joe Monti, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
A warrior heroine with a caring heart, stalwart friends, an edgy futurist subtext and the suggestion of a possible sequel make this a thrilling sci-fi adventure. Imaginative and riveting.
—Kirkus Reviews

Action-seeking readers should enjoy the many revelations, twists, and hand-to-claw battle sequences, and fierce, take-charge Aluna is the kind of heroine who is easy to get behind. An open-ended conclusion leaves the door to Reese's futuristic world wide open for future adventures.
—Publishers Weekly

VOYA - Cheryl Clark
In a world where overpopulation has wreaked havoc on the planet and society, humans have engineered their bodies to enable them to inhabit environments previously off limits. Aluna is a Kampii and lives in the City of Shifting Tides, but now the technology that allows her people to live underwater is failing and Kampii are dying. When the elders decide to isolate themselves rather than seek help, Aluna and her friend Hoku face danger above the water to save their people. Above World touches on some mature and frightening ideas—humans have altered their bodies in ways that are more than a little creepy, and the novel's villain harvests body parts to alter himself in bizarre ways. But these potentially nightmare-inducing concepts are smoothed over so that in the end, the antagonist is a little reminiscent of a Mario Brothers baddie. This watering down of the scariness factor, along with other elements, are clear indications that this novel is intended for a middle grade audience. The main characters are a stereotypical duo—the plucky, brash heroine and her less-than-heroic, brainy best friend. And of course, there is the cute little romance thrown in for good measure. Finally, the writing is simple and straightforward and not particularly exciting. Overall, this is a fun but not very compelling read, and the set-up suggests there may be sequels. Reviewer: Cheryl Clark
Kirkus Reviews
In a future world in which habitable space has been exhausted, Humans have physically modified to survive in the skies, oceans and deserts. Living in the hidden City of Shifting Tides, 13-year-old Aluna heroically strives to save the ocean-dwelling Coral Kampii when their lives are threatened by destructive forces in the Above World. Feisty Aluna and her techie pal Hoku have the Kampii's "thick bones and tough skin, adaptable vision, [and] breathing necklaces." Even though Aluna will soon trade her legs for a swimming tail, she doesn't fit with the isolated Kampii and defies them by secretly training to be a hunter. When their breathing necklaces mysteriously fail, causing Kampii to die, Aluna opts to leave before receiving her tail and journeys with Hoku to the Above World to try to find some answers. Along the way, Aluna and Hoku encounter deadly Dragonfliers, aquatic Deepfell demons, winged female Aviars, half-horse Equians and brutal Upgraders. Fighting every step of her perilous quest, Aluna enlists help from creatures of the air, land and sea. A warrior heroine with a caring heart, stalwart friends, an edgy futurist subtext and the suggestion of a possible sequel make this a thrilling sci-fi adventure. Imaginative and riveting. (Science fiction. 10-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763659585
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
02/14/2012
Series:
Above World Series , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
678,224
Lexile:
710L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
A warrior heroine with a caring heart, stalwart friends, an edgy futurist subtext and the suggestion of a possible sequel make this a thrilling sci-fi adventure. Imaginative and riveting.
—Kirkus Reviews

Action-seeking readers should enjoy the many revelations, twists, and hand-to-claw battle sequences, and fierce, take-charge Aluna is the kind of heroine who is easy to get behind. An open-ended conclusion leaves the door to Reese's futuristic world wide open for future adventures.
—Publishers Weekly

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