Book Review: Flashfall by Jenny Moyer

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Title: Flashfall
Author: Jenny Moyer
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: November 15, 2016
Genre:  Science Fiction, Dystopian, Young Adult

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flashfallFlashfall
Jenny Moyer
Henry Holt and Company, November 2016
ISBN 978-1-6277-9481-7
Hardcover

From the publisher—

Orion is a Subpar, expected to mine the tunnels of Outpost Five, near the deadly flash curtain. For generations, her people have chased cirium―the only element that can shield humanity from the curtain’s radioactive particles. She and her caving partner Dram work the most treacherous tunnel, fighting past flash bats and tunnel gulls, in hopes of mining enough cirium to earn their way into the protected city.

But when newcomers arrive at Outpost Five, Orion uncovers disturbing revelations that make her question everything she thought she knew about life on both sides of the cirium shield. As conditions at the outpost grow increasingly dangerous, it’s up to Orion to forge a way past the flashfall, beyond all boundaries, beyond the world as she knows it.

While much about Flashfall seemed to me to be quite similar to other dystopian stories (really, though, how many new and totally different tales can there be this late in the dystopian book world?), Ms. Moyer did one thing that not many authors do for me, personally. Within minutes of beginning to read, I was truly attached to both Orion and Dram. Usually, characters have to grow on me and it takes a while but, here, the connection was almost immediate.

The plot, revolving around the mining of a particular element and the need to earn enough to live on the “good” side, is interesting and, even though I didn’t find it astoundingly different, I did enjoy this tale of a girl having to grow up a great deal before her time and learning that all is not as it seems. I also appreciated that the event that brought this world to its knees happened only about a century earlier so there is not a lot of need for fancy futuristic technology that, quite honestly, I sometimes think gets in the way of a good story. The radiation dangers and class divisions are issues we can relate to, making the tale more believable, and the author has created a credible and interesting human existence with worldbuilding that I found much better than I’ve seen in recent times.

Most especially, though, I reveled in the relationship between Orion and Dram, a relationship based on total trust. That is something we don’t see every day and I applaud Ms. Moyer for it.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, November 2016.

About the Author

jenny-moyer
 Jenny is the author of YA sci-fi/fantasy FLASHFALL, coming from Macmillan/Holt 11-15-16. She lives with her filmmaker husband and their three boys in Des Moines.
Find out more at http://www.jennymoyer.com and connect with Jenny on Twitter and Facebook.
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