Above World (Above World Series #1)
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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,

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

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

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.)
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
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
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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763662592
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
02/12/2013
Series:
Above World Series, #1
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
710L (what's this?)
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

Meet the Author

Jenn Reese writes science fiction and fantasy and has published short stories and two books for adults. She loves martial arts and has trained in kenpo, kung fu, tai chi, and weaponry. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Above World 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Icecream18JA More than 1 year ago
This book has got to be one of the best dystopians I have managed to get my hands on. The world created by Author Jenn Reese is rich and extremely detailed as well as varied. The reader meets the main characters, Aluna and Hoku, right off the bat. They are both very likable and make nice foils for each other. Aluna is far more impetuous and inquisitive while Hoku is more cautious and shy. The two seem like an unlikely pair, but their differing personalities add to their charms. Aluna and Hoku are part of the Kampii, a "tribe" of humans living underwater. The author describes a human history filled with error, one that caused humans to seek alternative living styles due to the overcrowded typical environment. Aluna and Hoku are off to a rough start at the beginning of the novel, Aluna's volatile temperament costs her several reprimands and the chance at a tail-at least until next year. Outraged, Aluna decides to take control over her own destiny and possibly help her people. There have been some strange occurrences regarding the Kampii breathing devices, they appear to be breaking down; Aluna decides to try to figure out the mystery behind them and why they are breaking. The secondary characters in this novel are among the most memorable I have ever read. The author creates them to be incredibly dynamic and they each have stand-out characteristics that will make the reader want to get to know them. The events of this novel are exciting and innovative, the author puts the reader in a scary alternative world. The characters will act as the readers' guide to so many different places described so amazingly well by the author. Readers of all ages will love to delve into this novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont know what to say except this book is amazing!!! I loved it! It was very suspenseful, full of action, and although a fantasy, its never confusing! I read this book all day and loved it! Just wonderful! Buy now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! What cool world to get into
ShannonODonnell More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that gets better with every chapter. At first, I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but once the storyline moved to land (above world) it hooked me. The variety of beings and the complexity of their worlds is fascinating, and I love the way Jenn Reese slowly brings them together, uniting forces. For those who love strong female characters, Aluna is for you. She is brave, independent, fierce, loyal and loving. Her best friend, Hoku, is equally loyal and truly brilliant. Together, they make an amazing team. Once they add Calli and Dash, you'll be hooked! And Zorro (a little animal machine creature) captured my heart. This was a fascinating story and I look forward to book two!
ireadeverythingMI More than 1 year ago
Cool book! I'm in my 50's and I enjoyed it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have ever read and, trust me, I read 365 books every year. The characters are thrilling, the plot line is mysterious... A must-read!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a great book but the end left a lot to be disired!!!:(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't wait to read the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi I'm Athena, and I think it is a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
4 and a hakfbut its ok.$
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it i think it one of the best books ive read wich ive read a lot but theres one probelm i would like a sequel to this book i think this should a series and be nomiteed best book of year 5 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome thrilling
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HEY HATERS WHO SAY THIS BOOK SUXS TO LAME WELL DID YOU READ IT THOUGHT SO YA I KNOW IT WOULD BE BETTER IF YOU DID THEN JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER AND NO ITS NOT ABOUT MERMAIDS ITS FOR BOTH GENDERS SO QUIT HATING AMD START READING WACKOS
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sheesh! It's not!