Flashfall by Jenny Moyer
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: November 15th 2016
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Soure: ARC from Raincoast
Link to the author: http://www.jennymoyer.com/
Rating: 4 grams of cirium out of 5
Buzz Words: Radioactive, Cavers, Hope, Revelations
“His arms steal around me, and I press my cheek above his heart, I know that he is wrong. There is still so much to lose”
Orion and Dram are both cavers at Outpost Five, spending their days below ground mining cirium in order to earn a lifetime of safety. The mines are treacherous but the people in charge are even more dangerous. The events that unfold at Outpost Five lead Orion to suspect that not all is what it seems and perhaps no one will ever set foot in the protected city. With a deadly secret to hide and loved ones to protect Orion must find her own way to safety and past the Flashfall.
I know some of you may not be looking for another dystopian, but before you pass this one by I urge you to take a closer look. This is unlike any dystopian I’ve read before. The main characters Orion and Dram are cavers searching and gather cirium. The cirium is needed to defend the City from radiation and if a caver finds enough cirium they can spend the rest of their days in that protected city. Orion and Dram mine the most dangerous cave for the biggest pay outs and they are very close to earning their freedom. I have never read a YA about cavers and I found it really interesting. There were so many dangers Orion faced that my heart was almost constantly pounding. The action was non stop, in fact my only complaint was that sometimes the story went too fast and as a reader I felt a bit of whip-lash. One moment our characters were fighting for their lives and the next they were transported to an entirely different Outpost or Cordon and in a new heap of trouble. It was never boring though I can say that.
Visually the cover is amazing and I also enjoyed the cirium count at the beginning of each chapter. Moving into the world building I thought it was really incredible. Moyer created a harsh and brutal world that tested her characters to their limits and I always felt like I was right there with them as they took each painstaking step. I loved the flash bats and tunnel gulls! I always enjoy when an author creates a new or mutated creature and orbies where a particularly creepy touch too.
I have heard this book compared to Red Rising? I enjoyed it as much as Red Rising but that’s the only comparison I would make, and I think the two books would appeal to different people. Mining is the only thing they really have in common. I liked all the caving scenes, its something you don’t see in YA and it was well done, vividly described and really pulled me into charcters world. One of my favourite scenes in the whole story is when Dram and Orion swim an axe to the bottom of an underground pool in memory of a fallen caver. It was so beautiful but also sad, there are so many emotional moments in Flashfall that really help you understand what it must be like for the characters.
Orion is named after a constellation which I thought was pretty cool and I love stars so it caught my attention. Orion is incredible; strong and led by her heart. She can be impulsive but I like that she is willing to stand up, speak the truth and brave the consequences. This girl is tougher than the stuff she mines everyday. And Dram is defiantly making the book boyfriend list, I ship these two so hard! There was no insta love or triangle in this dystopian, just two friends who eventually realize they’re much more. I enjoyed all the relationships in Flashfall even though people were dying like a Game of Thrones episode; the sacrifices they made for their people left my eyes wet and my heart hurting.
Elemental magic is also present in Flashfall and I’m really excited to see more of it in the next book. It was also different that it wasnt the main character with magic, which is very often the case, I felt like as a whole, like this book broke a lot of the cliché molds. The ending wrapped up nicely while leaving a lot unexplained and unexplored. Needless to say I will be eagerly, and impatiently, awaiting book two!
A big thank you to Raincoast Books for sending me a copy of Flashfall for this review!