An invisible, uncrossable physical barrier encloses the United States. The Line is the part of the border that lopped off part of the country, dooming the inhabitants to an unknown fate when the enemy used a banned weapon. It’s said that bizarre creatures and superhumans live on the other side, in Away. Nobody except tough old Ms. Moore would ever live next to the Line.
Nobody but Rachel and her mother, who went to live there after Rachel’s dad died in the last war. It’s a safe, quiet life. Until Rachel finds a mysterious recorded message that can only have come from Away. The voice is asking for help.
Who sent the message? Why is her mother so protective? And to what lengths is Rachel willing to go in order to do what she thinks is right? (Goodreads)
I bought this book mostly on a whim after reading the premise on Amazon – I think I was expecting an “Under the Dome” sort of situation, which is not what I got. I got something completely different which I was vaguely disappointed about. Having said that, I think this book was a ‘setting the scene’ kind of book, which will get better as the series goes on.
There was a lot of information to take in within this book, which I think is what made the book a bit of a slow read, even though it is only just over 200 pages. It was a little bit of a struggle to take in that amount of information all at once. It set the scene, though, for the next instalments in the series. I think that, now I have the information, the series has a lot of promise, because it can get onto the more interesting parts in the plot.
Ms. Moores is very much a character that reminded me of Miss Daisy from “Driving Miss Daisy”. She is a very formal, no nonsense kind of character who takes a while to open up to the people around her. She is a character the reader struggles to relate too and to like at the beginning of the book, but with which the feelings grow as the book carries on.
Rachel and Vivian are very likeable characters. It was difficult to see them as mother and daughter, though, because Rachel kept referring to her mother (in her head) as Vivian. I may call my dad by his first name to his face, but in my head and when I am talking about him, I always refer to him as my father.
The society within which we are thrown into is set into the near future and is a dystopian version of the United States with an invisible wall put up around it so that people cannot come in and people cannot leave without the permission of the government. It does sound like something that could happen if they were ever in the need to protect themselves from the threat of war and if they had the technology to do so. As is with any war, there were casualties and collateral damage, namely speaking of those people who were trapped on the other side of the wall (in Away) who were bombed. As usual, the government promises to come to their aid when the atmosphere outside of the wall is no longer dangerous, but that never happens and the people tell them not to bother – which kind of creeped me out! It think it was just the way in which the message was written and under which circumstances that creeped me out rather than the message itself.
I was disappointed with this book because I was expecting more from it based on the premise. Instead, what I got are a whole bunch of lessons on how to take care of orchids and a whole lot of information to take in on the society that was presented to me and how it came to be along with the problems that the society is facing now. I am hoping that my hunch is right and that this book merely set the scene for the other books in this series.
I gave this book 3/5 stars.