Monday, January 16, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Above World by Jenn Reese

Release Date: February 14, 2012
NetGalley Advanced Readers Copy

About The Book: 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. -Goodreads

First Line: Aluna swam toward the abandoned outpost, her heart pounding, her breathing necklace pulsing at her throat.

One Great Line: "History is not a fixed truth. It changes with the speaker, just as no two feathers will ever find the same path in the wind." (121)

What Others are Saying: "...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..." -Publishers Weekly 

What I Thought: If you're thinking that this is just another mermaid story you're knee deep in seaweed. Sit back, buckle in and get ready for an adventure that is full of innovative technology, out-of-the-box fight scenes and a twisty-turny plot with characters that reach out and resonate. This debut middle grade dystopian/fantasy is the first adventure in the series filled with adaptative invention, epic battles and incredible world building. Aluna is not your average heroine and shows no fear when faced with dismal odds. The imaginative tech and scary post-humans will appeal to the geek in all of us. This is one debut you don't want to miss. 

About The Author: Jenn Reese
Agent: Joe Monti at Barry Goldblatt Literary
Publisher: Candlewick

Who: Jenn Reese writes science fiction and fantasy adventure stories for readers of all ages. She has published short stories online and in various anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award-winning Paper Cities. Her first novel, Jade Tiger, is an action-adventure kung fu romance for teens and adults. She lives in Los Angeles where she studies martial arts, plays video games, and dreams of rain.   -Author's Website

Jenn will be joining us in the not too distant future for interview, if you have any questions you would like to ask put them in your comments. She is one interesting person. I can't wait!

Here is the link to that interview.


  1. This sounds pretty cool, and it's nice to see mermaids back in MG where they belong!

  2. "'re knee deep in seaweed." Awesome writing, Pam. I'm continually amazed by the number of books I haven't heard about! Thanks for word on this one.

  3. Ooh this sounds good. I added it to my Goodreads to read list.

  4. What an unusual futuristic fantasy! I love the name Aluna.

    I'd like to ask Jenn if she outlines before she starts writing. With that complex a story, I would think you'd have to!

    Also, you say the world building is incredible. I could use advice in that area, if Jenn is willing to give out any secrets. How did she come up with the rules for her world? How did she make them seem plausible?

  5. Very much looking forward to reading this one...have the e-galley on my ipad. Thanks for the review!

  6. Ahem... I can't believe it.
    This is one of the many 2012 debuts I'm looking forward to. I couldn't get my hands on any arc but I'm patiently waiting for the library to have it so I could read it.
    I'm interested in Jenn's process for world building.


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