"Imagine you're a fish, swimming in a pond. You can move forward and back, side to side, but never up out of the water. If someone were standing besid"Imagine you're a fish, swimming in a pond. You can move forward and back, side to side, but never up out of the water. If someone were standing beside the pond, watching you, you'd have no idea they were there. To you, that little pond is an entire universe. Now imagine that someone reaches down and lifts you out of the pond."
This was a suspenseful, trippy read. It reminded me of a cross between The Time Traveler's Wife and the movie Inception. I liked simply discovering how the author's concept of parallel worlds unfolded, and I was happily surprised by some of the twists and turns.
The book's ultimate message to appreciate the life that you have was satisfying -- although perhaps not quite life-changing. It gets four stars from me for just being a lot of fun....more
A solid 3 stars from me -- maybe more from Josie. We were both interested in the apothecary world, and we were totally smitten with Echo the adorableA solid 3 stars from me -- maybe more from Josie. We were both interested in the apothecary world, and we were totally smitten with Echo the adorable talking bat. I found some of the expressions and unusual speaking patterns of the characters to be distracting -- and others just made us laugh out loud (I'm pretty sure the exclamation, "Solid earth!" will forever be an inside joke at our house now).
The book ends with a cliffhanger that left us eager to read the next book. I'm hoping for some unexpected twists and deeper character development in book two. But really, so long as we get to spend more time with Echo, I'll be happy. ("Echo good!")...more
I really enjoyed this new dystopian series by Jennifer Brody. I am not surprised to see that the author has a background in Hollywood as the novel reaI really enjoyed this new dystopian series by Jennifer Brody. I am not surprised to see that the author has a background in Hollywood as the novel reads almost like a screenplay with lots of action-packed short scenes. It's easy to get hooked quickly with this one!
The concept of a doomsday contingency plan is not entirely unique. I found myself comparing this story to a few other novels with similar themes. The underwater settlements reminded me strongly of City of Ember. (And I'm curious to find out more about the underground settlements later in the series to see if there are more comparisons to be made.) The citizens find themselves in a very similar predicament with the infrastructure of their temporary world breaking down. Also as in Ember, the details of how their isolated world came to be and how to safely escape from it have been long forgotten and/or hidden from general knowledge. And again similarly, a small team of teenagers must defy the authorities who have forbidden anyone from leaving and who are exploiting the general population for their own gain. They both even involve blueprints and pipeworks.
Despite all of these similarities, Brody's take on a civilization of survivors hiding out in the deepest ocean (Continuum 13) is very exciting and has many unique twists. I was fascinated by the combination of ultra high-tech along with the gritty reality of leaky pipes, worn-out clothes, and endless seafood dishes.
We're told that the central character from Continuum 13, Myra, is rebellious and smart. I only wish that we had more opportunities to see her brilliant mind at work rather simply hearing about amazing accomplishments and escapades from her past. It seemed to me that many of her thoughts that we get to experience are centered around her romantic relationships --not all, but I just wanted to see more of her engineering talent and daring explorations of the station in action. Her brother Tinker is an adorable genius, and I can't wait to see his character continue to develop also.
Up in one of the space settlements, we follow the journey of Aero in Continuum 2. His world reminded me of Ender's Game with brigades of kid soldiers who are trained in amazing holographic simulators. Like Ender, Aero knows that he has a critical role to play in ensuring a future for humans on Earth which takes a toll on him mentally. Brody's description of the almost magical Falchion weapons is awesome. Here again I wanted to go back in time a bit to see more of the history of these objects and how Aero came to have this exceptional bond with his sword.
Maybe what I really need is some kind of prequel?!
Finally, the whole concept of hiding pods of humanity away from the surface of an Earth that has been destroyed by nuclear weapons (or whatever the Doom is exactly), reminded me of the Wool Omnibus series. In Wool, there is also a series of survivor communities that are unaware of each other but which were all created by a small group of government insiders who knew that disaster was coming. Similarly to the Continuums, they each develop their own system of governance and culture and face challenges when those societies begin to break down structurally and socially.
I think the Continuum series fits in well with other doomed Earth novels. I love the bio-tech Beacon devices that link some of the characters telepathically, and I am very curious to find out more about the first Continuum and all of the secrets it holds. I found some of the writing to be a little simplistic in places -- again, a bit like a screenplay where the depth of emotion from the actors is not visible yet -- but the creative and fast-paced story kept me eager for more.
Besides the not-so-small matter of survival of the human species, this is also a romance. Aero and Myra both have potential love interests within their home Continuums -- interesting relationships entwined with a combination of attraction and obstacles. However, Myra and Aero themselves develop (rather suddenly, actually) a bond with one another that seems stronger still. I guess it's kind of like the ultimate long-distance relationship at this point. I suspect strongly how these potential love interests are going to play out in later books. And if that turns out to be the case, I'm okay with that and I'm sure it will be fun to see. But I'm also kind of holding out hope that I'll be surprised with some unexpected twists....more
Not the deepest book in the ocean, but I really enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to the sequel. The world and its characters reminded me a lNot the deepest book in the ocean, but I really enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to the sequel. The world and its characters reminded me a lot of The Selection series but fixes many of my issues with those books.
The arranged marriage element is introduced quickly instead of drawn out over three books. The emotional challenges are interesting, but I appreciated that it wasn't treated as though the outcome were unknown as The Selection tries to do.
Ivy's ultimate decisions are also not a huge surprise, but I really enjoyed her journey from blind trust in her father's worldview toward a more nuanced and honest view of the world. ...more