Book Review: Above

March 4, 2014 Whitney Review 3 Comments

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: AboveAbove by Lisa Morley
Published by Gallery on March 4, 2014
Genres: General Fiction
Source: Netgalley

I am a secret no one is able to tell.

Blythe Hallowell is sixteen when she is abducted by a survivalist and locked away in an aban­doned missile silo in Eudora, Kansas. At first, she focuses frantically on finding a way out, until the harrowing truth of her new existence settles in—the crushing loneliness, the terrifying madness of a captor who believes he is saving her from the end of the world, and the persistent temptation to give up. But nothing prepares Blythe for the burden of raising a child in confinement. Deter­mined to give the boy everything she has lost, she pushes aside the truth about a world he may never see for a myth that just might give mean­ing to their lives below ground. Years later, their lives are ambushed by an event at once promis­ing and devastating. As Blythe’s dream of going home hangs in the balance, she faces the ultimate choice—between survival and freedom.

Above has been compared to Emma Donoghue’s Room and based on the subject matter I can see why.  One could say what is original about that, its been done before.  No it has not.  Above is as fresh as the air that is above, but it is the darkness below that draws you in.

Blythe’s despair of a world is describe in great detail, I could smell the dirt on the walls and could vividly picture the makeshift art hung there.  It is obvious that only a mad person could hold a teen in such a matter, but as the years go by Dobbs spirals deeper into madness and could picture his psychotic eyes widening each time he entered below.

I was a little worried about the futuristic aspect of Above as science fiction is not always my cup of tea, but I found the subject matter as a whole to be intriguing and weighed out any worries I had prior.  There was no need for worry.  I was captivated by the devastation that awaited Blythe and her son.  I was heartbroken for Blythe as she came to the realization that her world was not how she left it over a decade ago.  Adam, her fifteen year old son was like a kid in a candy store, amazed by all he saw, unsure as to whether it met his expectations.

To be honest it was all a little bizarre.  Like Twilight Zone bizarre.  I don’t feel that I can say much more without giving away a major plot twist, but it threw me through a loop, Adam’s candystore is Willy Wanka after he goes through his factory’s tunnel.

After a sticky situation is unstuck Above becomes more subdue.  The ending, to take another Wonka reference reminded me of the Gene Wilder adaptation where Wonka rides Charlie for drinking fizzy-lifting and scuffing the ceiling.  I was so mad at Willy Wonka for treating Charlie ill, but then Charlie gives Willy Wonka his Everlasting Gobstopper back,  Wonka’s eyes light up and the story ends in hope.  That is how I felt about the ending of Above.


3 responses to “Book Review: Above

  1. You're the first blogger I follow who has reviewed this one. It sounds so interesting, and I'm pretty sure I have a copy hanging around, but something is holding me back. You definitely have me more curious about this book now.

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