Monday, July 18, 2016

Below by Jason Chabot

Below
by Jason Chabot

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Release date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: Broken Sky Chronicles
Genre: SciFi, YA
Paperback: 308 pages
Rating: 4

Broken Sky Chronicles series:
Below
Above
Beyond

No one but the dead dare venture Below . . .

The first volume in this thrilling trilogy opens on the barren plains of Below, where Hokk and his fox sidekick, Nym, live in exile amid the remnants of our modern age.

Overhead, on the floating islands of Above, Elia is trapped in a life of endless toil and drudgery as a laundress for the Mirrored Palace. To Elia, the islands’ edges are borders that no one dares cross until the ancient ritual that delivers the dead to Below. But a series of natural disasters rumbling through Above sends Elia’s world crashing into Hokk’s―and she falls Below.

Their journey together will propel them across endless plains and through shattered cities in a centuries-old battle for the very earth and sky around them...


My two-bits:

Good start to this trilogy. There is an introduction to the world of Above and Below to capture the curiosity. At the end it had me wondering about the origin story of the worlds and why things are starting to change.

The story is told through two main characters that were equally interesting.

As mentioned above, I felt this book to be just a start of things to come.

Side note: I would have liked a bit more to the story.

About the author:
I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, but grew up in the rural outskirts of a city called Chilliwack – a Stó:lō First Nations word meaning “quieter water up the river” – where our home was built beside a gurgling creek and surrounded by forests. With no neighbors in sight and only one channel on TV, I had plenty of time to invest in my imagination.

Looking back, the seed for The Broken Sky Chronicles was first planted as a teenager when I worked at a tree nursery that supplied saplings to reforestation programs. I didn’t think a summer job could get any worse – the burning sunshine, the dirt, my aching back, the relentless little flies, always biting. I used to gaze up to the mountain peaks poking above a halo of clouds and wish I could somehow, miraculously, be transported to their alpine meadows, to relax for hours while watching everyone else slave away, far below, in the afternoon heat. “Above” always seemed like the ideal place to be, although I now suspect the bugs would have been larger and definitely more ravenous.

Many other elements of The Broken Sky Chronicles were inspired by places and moments in my life. Growing up on the West Coast, I have always been captivated by nature, whether by our storms, our oceans, or our sunsets. In Vancouver, we are always warned that the Juan de Fuca fault line is long overdue for a horrendous earthquake – so be prepared! And during an amazing trip to Egypt, I was surprised many times to see plastic trash everywhere, half-buried in the sand dunes or floating high in the air, caught in the currents where clouds should be drifting instead.

I chose to write a fantasy adventure novel for young adults because I was intrigued by all these natural elements and how they might affect the lives of two teenagers when their physical worlds collide. While Elia has been enslaved by class and drudgery, Hokk lives in almost complete isolation, and I have enjoyed exploring how each character discovers unexpected strength to survive epic challenges, yet at the same time questioning their perception of reality.

But of course, I suppose Hokk and Elia could have had it worse. They could have worked in a tree nursery!

~*~

* review copy courtesy of publisher

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