The Threat Below by Jason Latshaw
“It’s dangerous, Icelyn. That’s what it’s like down there. You can never go down there. Never.” Seventeen year old Icelyn has always been told this. Their home on Moutaintop is the only safe place left in a world over run with monsters. So naturally, when her friend Adorane drags her over the wall she is terrified. Little does she know that little excursion will be the start of something much bigger.
Publisher’s Description: Three hundred years ago, something arose and pushed humanity to the brink of extinction. Now, a small remnant – the ancestors of the few survivors who were able to escape the massacre below – lives above the clouds, on the top of a mountain. But there’s been a change. Their water supply is being poisoned. Someone, or something down below is trying to kill them. Now an expedition, including seventeen year-old girl Icelyn Brathius, must descend and face the monsters that wiped out civilization centuries ago.
As Icelyn faces dangers in a world humans are not meant to survive, she learns that not everything is as it seems, and uncovers an ancient revelation, then faces a choice that may change the fate of everyone above and below the clouds. Will Icelyn be strong enough to both survive and bear the terrible secret?
Join Icelyn Brathius as she leaves everything she has ever known to journey to the place no one was ever supposed to go.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Luna Lovebooks says…
What I liked: First of all I want to mention the uniqueness of this dystopian novel. Since dystopian novels have become popular we see many stories about man vs nature or man bringing about his own destruction, but rarely do we get all of that mixed up in one epic adventure. And rarely do we feel sympathetic for the ones doing the destruction. But Latshaw created a world so different and so raw that when the way the world was destroyed is revealed it brings tears to your eyes (at least it did mine).
I love the use of both first and third person and the way he blends both past and present. It is done so seamlessly that I almost didn’t notice it. I love how you think the story will go one way and ends up going in a way you wouldn’t expect.
The characters are wonderfully complex. There is an interesting caste system based on knowledge (Cognates) and the ability to work (Veritas). Nicholas (the leader of the Kith and Icelyn’s father) and Tranton (Nicholas’ advisor as well as a villain) and the people of the Kith make up one story, while Icelyn and her best friend Adorane and her Intended (?) Torrain and the Threatbelows make up another plot; but they are all woven together beautifully.
What I didn’t like: There are too many T names. There is a small section in the book where Tranton and Torrain and the Tarlinius are all together. You can see where it might get confusing. Also, to tell this story well, it has to be long; but there are parts, as with any epic tale, that can drag out.
Other than these issues, I loved this book and am eagerly awaiting Latshaw to finish the second one! I give it a 5!
If you like this book…