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Above World (Above World #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  944 ratings  ·  182 reviews
Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony’s survival is in doubt. The Kampii’s breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubb ...more
Hardcover, 356 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Candlewick Press (first published February 12th 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I was incredibly lucky - I got to read this book multiple times in manuscript form, and it is AWESOME. Super-fun science-fiction adventure for kids, with genetically-engineered mermaids and girls with wings AND incredible fighting skills. Deep, important friendships and sweet first romance. This book has everything, and I love it so much.
Dec 27, 2011 Krystal rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc

This book has got to be one of the best dystopians I have managed to get my hands on. The world created by Author Jenn Reese is rich and extremely detailed as well as varied. The reader meets the main characters, Aluna and Hoku, right off the bat. They are both very likable and make nice foils for each other. Aluna is far more impetuous and inquisitive while Hoku is more cautious and shy. The two seem like an unlikely pair, but their differing personalities add to their charms.

Aluna and Hoku ar
From LJ write up.

Goodreads synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony’s survival is in doubt. The Kampii’s breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for way to save their people.

Brandy Painter
Originally posted at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I was a little hesitant to pick up Above World by Jenn Reese despite the numerous glowing reviews and comments for it I had read. It sounded dystopian, and I don't like dystopian. Finally all the praise had me curious enough to pick it up. (Also it has a beautiful cover.) Yes, it does have some shades of dystopian, but this is a book that is so much more than that. Reese sets her story in a futuristic world that is so foreign that it could be
Tara Hall
Nov 13, 2011 Tara Hall rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Teen boys, Middle grade boys, dystopian fans
Shelves: arcs, reviewed
I was skeptical about this story when I picked up the ARC. But it won me over with a fantastic dystopian world, strong, unique characters, and great suspense. This is a must-read for fantasy and scifi fans of all ages!

Somehow Reese has managed to combine The Little Mermaid with an action dystopian. It sounds crazy, I know. But it works oh-so-well. It's not just mermaids, though, there are harpies, centaurs, even half-dolphin half-human creatures we don't even have a name for. All have their own

3.5 stars; History is not a fixed truth. It changes with the speaker.

Jenn Reese's Above World is a story full of originality and creativity, turning the concept of underwater inhabitants into one with elaborate detail of diverse features.

But contrary to the previous statement, my biggest and sole problem with Above World was it's simplicity. While it serves satisfactorily as a transition from middle grade to juvenile young adult, any reader used to or accustomed only to complex pieces of litera
Jessica (Books: A true story)
Above World was an interesting mix of mythological creatures and our modern world of technology. You’ll find mermaids and computers in one breath. I was pleasantly surprised by the dystopian undertone to it all that gave it some wonderful depth. In this fascinating world that Jenn has built, there are several cultures based on mythological creatures that descended from humans when there wasn’t room left on the earth for them to live. These new cultures live in the sea and the sky and other place ...more
Terrific girl-power adventure with wonderfully complex settings both above and below the sea.
Just finished. So much FUN.
Christa  Seeley
Originally reviewed at Hooked on Books

When I started reading Above World I was expecting a pretty basic middle grade title. A fun fantasy story that I could lose myself in for a little while. Something along the lines of Disney's The Little Mermaid. What I found, however, was a delightful fantasy mixed with some science fiction and a strong story I could really get behind.

Unlike many fantasy stories, this book takes place in a futuristic version of our world. In the future, over-population has l
I wish I could give this book four stars, but because of pacing and a logic question, I just cannot. It was a very delightful book, in any case, and much worth reading.

One of the reasons I really enjoyed it was that the immense world-building is so well done, I actually felt like I was there with the characters. The world is in the future, where many humans long ago got tech to help them survive in extreme places, as the world changed. Our main character hails from the Kampii civilization, which
Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers

Aluna has lived her entire life - all thirteen years - under the sea. She is one of the Kampii, a water-born splinter group of humans that took to the oceans generations ago, to escape the death and wastes of the earth above. Aluna loves the water and her people, but she's frustrated with the future that has been set for her with the Kampii. Because their numbers are ever dwindling, all Kampii women are prohibited from the exciting and dangerous jobs (lik
Rick Silva
Set in a world that mixes postapocalyptic cyberpunk with classical mythology, this story centers on Aluna of the Coral Kampii, a tribe of genetically engineered Merfolk. The Kampii are one of several familiar humanoid races that resulted from attempts by humans to alter their bodies to escape the pressures of an overpopulated world and live in places previously considered uninhabitable.

When thirteen year old Aluna learns that her people's water-breathing technology may be failing, she undertakes
Elisabeth Jewell
Clever imagining of a future world, where the human race has escaped to extreme habitats and have learned how to modify their bodies (done at puberty or at birth) to survive. Aluna lives in a underwater city of Kampiis (mermaids) where their breathing necklaces. Having lost the technological knowledge across the centuries, Aluna puts off "growing her tail" (she still has the legs she was born with) disobeys the Elders' isolationist orders and travels to the surface and land in search of technolo ...more
The past tense of "to tread" is "trod". This cranky note brought to you by aquatic humans who spend a lot of time staying still in currents. That said...

I enjoyed this book. It didn't blow me out of the proverbial water, but it was reasonably well-crafted and engaging, and I didn't check to see how much more book I had to get through.

You'll be shocked to lean that the rebellious princess is forced by her conscience to leave all she knows on the very eve of her adulthood, and venture out into the
I loved this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know how Aluna will be able to help the Equians now that she did what she had done. Hoku is your normal smart one, but he isn't a smart-aleck, he's nice.His smartness is helpful. Dash is an Equian gone wrong. He is an Equian with no horse body, so he looks like a human. This science fiction fantasy is awesome in every way and i recommend it to all ocean lovers and sci. fiction fans. GIVE ME MORE ABOVE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XDXDXD
Pam Torres
If you're thinking that this is just another mermaid story you're knee deep in seaweed. Sit back, buckle in and get ready for an adventure that is full of innovative technology, out-of-the-box fight scenes and a twisty-turny plot with characters that reach out and resonate. This debut middle grade dystopian/fantasy is the first adventure in the series filled with adaptative invention, epic battles and incredible world building. Aluna is not your average heroine and shows no fear when faced with ...more
Page Passion
Above World was an action packed, adventure filled novel. Aluna and Hoku have lived under water their whole lives, in the City of Shifting Tides. They are Kampii, a breed of genetically mutated humans that are designed to thrive under water. Bu when Aluna finds her friend dead, she not only realizes that her technology is failing but that she needs to fix it by traveling to the Above World where all her answers will be found. Or so she thinks.

Benji Martin
I loved this book. The idea was new. I loved the questions it made me think. Would it be possible for people to live permanently underwater with better technology?" Would they have to eat everything raw? Would their skin get all wrinkly? I loved the characters. I felt their fear, their love, their amusement. They were all very believable. I loved the action. Reese's martial arts training helps make all of the fighting scenes realistic and exciting. I loved the story. There was never a dull momen ...more
Greg van Eekhout
I was privileged to read Above World prior to publication and sent in this blurb, which appears (in part) on the back of the book:

Jenn Reese's richly imagined future teems with biotech mer people and mighty centaurs, but her characters remain so very human, driven by friendship, love, and courage. I'd choose Jenn Reese's characters as my companions on any adventure. Above World delivers thunderously exciting action worthy of a summer blockbuster, but the battles and perils never get in the way o
Kayla Edwards
Thirteen-year-old Aluna is just a little too headstrong and spirited for the hidden underwater City of Shifting Tides and is the black sheep of the family. When the necklaces that allow her people to breathe underwater mysteriously begin to malfunction, no one is willing to venture out into the world they left behind years ago to find help - even when people are dying. Aluna and her technology-obsessed friend, Hoka, decide that they will just have to sneak out of the city and head for the surfac ...more
When I first started this book, I could tell it was aimed at an audience younger than me by the way the characters talked with each other. However, I still enjoyed it a lot. The idea of people having to adapt to living in different areas of the world fascinated me. This book does not close the story up though, so don't read it if you aren't planning on reading the whole series. I finished it and said, "dang it, now I have to read the next one." It's not that it isn't good enough to make me want ...more
Deborah Coates
Oct 14, 2011 Deborah Coates marked it as to-read
I've read this one too, though I'm looking forward to reading the final version. It has brave, powerful girls and smart boys and water and land and science and adventure!

Also, will post more review soon :)
I wasn't 100% convinced with the world building in this novel. In this dystopian future, humans have been genetically modified to live in the ocean, to fly with wings, and to run with hooves. The ocean dwellers survive with a breathing shell and when they become old enough, they grow a tail. The breathing shells have begun to fail. Two of the ocean dwellers try to find out why. The action is pretty good and the information is doled out slowly. That's part of the reason I didn't completely buy in ...more
Kimberly Sabatini
Read this on audio with my 11yo in the car and we absolutely loved it!!! He was extremely relieved to hear that there would be a second book LOL! Adored the creativity and the characters.
Jan 21, 2011 E.C. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: mg
The last time I read this in manuscript, I loved it, and I can't imagine it's gotten worse since then so I don't hesitate to recommend it :P
LOVE this book. My inner middle-grader wants to be bff's with Aluna. As a kid, I would have read and re-read until the pages fell out.
Kayla Bennett
This is not a book that I would want my children or students reading. I feel like it is too graphic and would scare children. If it were to be read, i feel like this book would be junior high school and up. There are things that I do not know Elementary school children will understand. It was graphic and is not one that I want to keep around. It did have some good parts of fighting off the evil and being a hero, but I feel there could have been less graphic things and it would have been great. I ...more
Annie Oosterwyk
Hovering between 3 and 4 stars. I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would because the characters were sympathetic, but I was confused about the intended audience. I felt that this book was pitched at middle grade, but much of the content would be more accessible for older kids.
At times it also seemed like there was just too much variety in both people and animals.
I was puzzled by the altered animals that played such key roles in gaining access to the world of tech. Why would anyone inves
Could not put it down!
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I write science fiction and fantasy adventure stories for readers of all ages. ABOVE WORLD is the first book in my middle grade series from Candlewick and was a finalist for the 2012 Andre Norton Award. The second book, MIRAGE, was released in March 2013, and the final book of the trilogy, HORIZON, is scheduled for April 2014. My first novel, JADE TIGER, is a kung fu action adventure romance for o ...more
More about Jenn Reese...
Mirage (Above World, #2) Horizon (Above World, #3) Jade Tiger Tales of the Chinese Zodiac Monstrous Love (A Bulfinch High Story)

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“History is not a fixed truth. It changes with the speaker.” 8 likes
“Why were wonder and danger always so tightly interwoven?” 5 likes
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