Blog Tour Review: Above Ground by A.M. Harte

I am taking part in the the Above Ground blog tour, featuring A.M. Harte’s Above Ground. Following is my review as part of the tour, but before you read on, A.M. Harte is also having a giveaway. You can enter to win a mystery prize right here. Off you go now, I can wait. To check out the array of posts in the tour just click on the above banner and it will take you to the list. Good luck!

The first glimpse of sun may be her last.

When Lilith Gray goes above ground for the first time, she hardly expects to stay there — much less be trapped on the surface with no way home.

Hunted by trackers and threatened by the infected, Lilith is on the run, desperate to return underground. Her only hope for survival lies with a taciturn werewolf with a dark agenda of his own.

Lilith’s old carefree life has been reduced to one choice:

Adapt. Or die trying.

___

Review

Damn it! Cliffhangers; they drive me up the wall, but I love them so. A combination of negative utopia, dark, and supernatural fantasy; Above Ground has an excellent cliffhanger. Sometimes I would like to have the foreknowledge to say no to reading stories like Above Ground, at least until the sequel comes out, so I can avoid the hunger that crops up when I’m finished reading the first instalment.

Enough about that for now.

I found myself agreeing to read Above Ground before I decided to take part in National Novel Writing Month. I usually try to avoid reading anything, or much, at all when writing so obsessively. I’m glad I have done both though. It has not only shown me I can capably do both, but that I can thoroughly enjoy what I’m reading. What usually happens is, I tend to become impatient with the story I’m reading and find myself wanting to stop so I can write. In this case, I found myself getting impatient with my writing and wanting to hurry up and read. Reading time couldn’t come around fast enough! I have lost sleep reading this story. Talk about a page-turner. An addictive, time-consuming, page-turner!

As the title alludes to, the story takes place mostly above ground and focuses on the wider world, but the story originates more underground. This is where the negative utopian aspect took place with levels of social hierarchy and the citizens being far more controlled than they realise. While the story doesn’t take up a great deal of its time underground, you can get a clear understanding of how the citizens think as you follow Lilith above ground. There’s fear instilled into the people where Lilith comes from, born from control and ignorance, which blooms into a level of bigotry on Lilith’s part when she encounters those above ground; the infected.

What I liked about that part, when it was quite an obvious distinction for Lilith in the beginning, was how you could understand her fear. It wasn’t painted as bigotry when she first steps into the Theatre and the catalytic events take place. So when her bigotry finally shows, it’s more understandable as you have been able to glean an idea of the fear and beliefs she has been brought up with. [SPOILER]What I found to be even better was how the bigotry wasn’t hers alone but belonged to those living above ground too. When the term worm, and the disdain held towards her kind, came into play, I think it added another element to the bigotry running rampant throughout the story. There are so many divisions in place, both underground and above, but focusing on the prejudice against humans living underground as the way Lilith reconsiders her views on those different to her, was a way to make it more personable and escapes the clutches of preachiness.[END SPOILER]

I like fantasy, but I love dark fantasy, and having the pleasure of going from dark fantasy to a dystopian feel was a great mix. I was so curious about the world up above, but appreciated having it broken up with the underground arc. As for the world above, well, it felt far larger to me than what was written. I love world building where there can be a great deal of detail without the writing being convoluted and spending so much time on setting the back-story. Above Ground ended up being very present with allowing the opportunity to learn a great deal about the world.

I’m greatly looking forward to the sequel. After over two hundred pages, I’m still not completely sure what to make of most of the characters. I did love Howl and his puppyish antics, which bespoke an excellent representation of how wolves would be with their packs, but I’m still not sure about the rest of the characters. Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t dislike any of the characters. Not only did I not dislike them, but I also found them to be believable. It’s more of a chance of getting to know them. I felt as though I was only beginning to and now I need more of the story to fully appreciate them.

Now, if only I could time travel so I could get my hands on the sequel…

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Word on the street is I love guest posters. It’s true! If you’re interested in guest posting on BA, whether it’s book reviews or something else book related, drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.

2 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review: Above Ground by A.M. Harte

  1. As I’ve yet to read the published novel, i guess I’ll have to reserve my judgement, but one of the things i really enjoyed about it being an online serial in drafts 1 & 2 was the side-stories. I know Anna mentioned the possibility of linked Novellas, so perhaps that may help to introduce some of those characters if it comes to pass.

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