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(Terrestrials #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  591 ratings  ·  130 reviews
A broken and desolate Earth. A young girl struggling to survive. A lost boy with a powerful secret.

A discovery that will change everything.

In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth's population, humanity is split in two: The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn a
Paperback, 286 pages
Published December 12th 2012 by Hopewell Media
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Gretchen Powell
Feb 10, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
I'm not going to rate my own book, though if I did, I probably couldn't assign a star rating anyway. It'd have to be something like "a floppity jillion rainbows!" or "eleventy billion cuddly baby otters!" instead, since, you know, it's my book. And, admittedly, I'm pretty frakkin' proud of it. Heh.

But! I did just want to attach a note here to let everyone know how amazed and grateful I am for the support, encouragement, and honest ratings/reviews I've received on here! I was relatively late to d
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who are addicted to Dystopia
This book just left my mouth hanging open!
I couldn’t believe it was over.
Geez! I was so hooked!
It’s not every day that someone who doesn’t really like dystopia likes a dystopian book.
This is one of those times.

See! Even Jennifer Lawrence thinks so!

When Ms. Powell asked me to review her book I was a bit worried. I was a bit worried that I might not like it since it was dystopian. Why don’t I like dystopian books? Well it’s because they give me a picture of what might happen to us in the near fut
Tiffany Kim
Dec 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a lover of dystopian novels, I have read much of what's out there in the genre. Some are pretty good, some are terrible, and some of them are truly great. Terra falls in the last category as it left me missing this world created by Powell and eager to continue the journey of these dynamic characters she deftly painted as soon as the last page was finished. I could've flown through the fast-paced novel in one sitting, but forced myself to savor it knowing the quicker I was finished, the longer ...more
Corrie Beebe
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for a book club. It is not the type of book I would have picked on my own, but Gretchen's debut novel is interesting and engaging from the first sentence. I sat down and read this book in one sitting today. It is an easy read, but the characters and story are well developed. We almost immediately care about the life of Terra and her brother Mica. The plot twists near the end, for me, were completely unexpected and quite well done. There were a few things in the novel (set hundreds of ...more
Brooke Banks
Terra: Kick-ass Heroine in an Out of This World Dystopian I have the awesome opportunity to be apart of the CBL Book Tour for Terra and received a copy in order to give an honest review. See more, including an except at my blog The Broke Book Bank. 



Love the characters, especially Terra. She'd be my homegirl.

Disappointed with the need for Villain monologue at the end. Terra, why u no figure it out yourself?!?

Love the twist ending, going back to the roots of sci-fi in a dystopian

Mandi Kaye Ottaway
Reviewed at

Let’s face it; self-published novels are hit or miss. And we all know they’re usually far more miss than hit. But Gretchen Powell has hit this one clear out of the park.

Terra is responsible for providing for her little brother and herself. In the world she lives in, there aren’t many options for a poor, orphaned grounddweller – but she found that she has a knack for scavenging – digging outside the gates of the district for bits of metal or pla
Lena Horn
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy from the author and having read some of her short stories before, I went in knowing that the writing would be solid and elegant. I knew she was a fan of The Hunger Games books, and so I wondered if it would draw similarities since both deal with a dystopian world. I was wrong. Happily wrong! The world that Gretchen created is real, almost scarily so as it deals with what happens after our natural resources are depleted, something we hear in the news a lot now.

I really don’t wan
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog-tour-review
'"Terra?" Mica's voice, heavy with sleep, seeps out his half-open door. "Where are you going?"'

From these words on we dive into the dystopian world of Terra and her little brother, Mica. Terra is Mica's sole caregiver, which means she is responsible for making the money in the family. She works as a scavenger collecting objects to sell at the recycling center. She and Mica have always just scraped by until one object changed their lives forever. After being chased by raiders Terra is saved by Ad
Brea Johnson
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-ebook
Review also posted on Breezy Reads

Um, why have I not heard of this book before? Why are there only like, 100 other reviews of this book on GR? WHY ARE PEOPLE NOT READING TERRA!

This book IS SO GOOD! It is 1000x better than some of the books that make it big, so why hasn’t this one?

Terra is a Terrestrial, otherwise known as a person with brown eyes who lives on the dying earth. This dystopia follows Terra after she discovers something unusual that gives her a giant pay out. One of my favourite thi
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I'm always on the look out for new dystopias to read, so when I first read the description for Terra, I was sold, and I just have to say that Terra lived up to my expectations completely! It was definitely a thrill to read and I highly recommend it. :D

The main character of the book is actually also named Terra, and she works as a scav (a.k.a. a scavenger), someone who collects waste on the ground so that it can be recycled and used by the people in the skyworlds. You see, in Terra there are some
Kristin (Blood,Sweat and Books)

I really had to sit down and think about how I wanted to review Terra. On first glance this was a really unique Dystopian and I was instantly sucked into Terra's world as a scavenger. Then it happened, Terra finds something really valuable on one of her scavenging runs. So valuable in fact that she needs an armed guard to escort her home. Rather than be happy for her recent windfall and heed the guards advice not to poke around, Terra wants to know more about the mysterious item. Wait, wh
This review posted at My Book Addiction.

Quick Critique

Pros: Finally, a dystopian novel worthy of my precious time! This is a gripping tale that does not relent. Gretchen Powell, you have a new stalker.

Cons: Zero. Zilch. I can’t find a thing to complain about.

Overall: Terra is an impressive debut novel! It’s not often I award a debut novel with five stars; not because it’s a debut novel, but because there are generally issues that need tweaking. Powell builds a dystopian world in which her richl
Review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

Terra by Gretchen Powell was a fantastic blend of what is popular in today’s Young Adult dystopian genre, but Powell makes it her own by effectively introducing her own twists and originality—not to mention a heck of a conclusion.

As we meet Terra, the protagonist, we are immediately taken into her world where the elite live in domed cities above and the people left on Earth are left to scavenge a
charlie ☾
"Cause if you don't need anybody, it won't hurt if they leave you, right?"

When I first read the synopsis of the book, I actually didn't expect it to be this good. It sounded like a typical post-apocalyptic novels but the weird, new name of where they are got me. Well, good thing it did because I really enjoyed this one.

It has a really interesting and promising premise. The history of how and why they lived in Genesis X-16 was immediately presented at the first part of the book, which
Zoe and the Edge
There's nothing life-changing about this book but it's a good one to lose yourself in for a few hours. It has a decent amount of angst, suspense and action. It kept me reading and I was interested in the plot all the way through. The end also, really picks up and made the book for me. I'm looking forward to Book #2. I liked that I wasn't bogged down by terminology and boring descriptions of this dystopian society. The author provides enough details without getting tedious. Another plus is that t ...more
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's very rare, in my experience, to find an indie book that is as good as anything that's gone through a corporate editing process. In fact, it may very well be the Holy Grail of small press books. And yet, on her first lap out of the gate, Gretchen Powell has birthed a fantastic book, self-published. So....consider me a fan!

I had a difficult time putting this one down. It's not that the pace is frenetic, but that the characters (especially Terra) are compelling.
Terra is tough, self-sacrificin
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gretchen Powell has written her first book titled Terra, a YA dystopian book about a girl, her brother, and their life in Genesis X-16. Terra’s life is changed forever when a discovery leads her to a world she never thought she would be a part of and a boy named Adam who is unlike any other she’s ever met.

I love this book. From the beginning, I was hooked. The characters are real and likeable, and a perfect fit for the world that Gretchen has created. I was held captive by the entire story line
Beth  (YA Books Central)
So the cover is what immediately drew me into this book. What a gorgeous cover and yes I am one of those people that could possibly read a book just for the cover! (Or at least start a book)

I have seen a lot of people reference Hunger Games when reviewing this book but I did not get that feel at all. I felt more like a different version of Under The Never Sky. It felt alot more SCI-FI to me. The whole two worlds colliding and the mysterious boy meets girl issue.
I liked Terra at first but I have
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, quick read. There are many details about how how day-to-day life happens in this picture of the future and contrasting the lives of the poor Terrestials who live on the decaying earth with the rich sky Dwellers who live in floating, luxury sky cities.

However, even keeping in mind that this is a YA novel, and not an adult novel, the characters and plot do feel juvenile. I didn't like or dislike the main character Terra, and the descriptions of the "baby brother" bordered on cliche.
Jen Robinson
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In full disclosure- I have to say that this was written by my sister- but familial relationships notwithstanding, I really enjoyed this book and think anyone who enjoys this genre will as well! It is a super quick read. The characters are engaging and the story line pulls you easily along right from the start. From the get go you are curious about this dystopian future, how it came to be this way, who is left in the world, what they do to survive, etc. The main character, Terra, is engaging, and ...more
Keith Powell
Dec 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazing first novel. Young Adult, certainly, and targeted for the teen girl. But it is a solidly crafted sci fi adventure, reminiscent in parts of the Heinlein coming-of-age young adult novels.

The setting is familiar but the details are novel and it is that attention to details as well as the smooth word-smithing that raises this head and shoulders above most of its genre.

Oh, I have a few quibbles concerning the pace of the central part of the book that is long on setting and character, but s
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been obsessed with Young Adult dystopian novels even since I started 'Hunger Games'. Unfortunately, many that I have read have turned out to virtually be the same.

Not this book!!!!

Once started reading it, I could hardly put it down. Personally, I didn't see many of the twists and turns coming and I loved the elements of surprise. I love that it is easy to read, but so engaging. Before I knew it, I was wrapped in the world of Terra and Adam, and wishing it wasn't over.

This is a breath of f
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After being sent an advanced copy of Terra from the author, I was skeptical that yet another Young Adult dystopian fiction novel would reel me in the same way others have (like the Hunger Games and the Maze Runner). I am so happy to announce that I was so wrong to be skeptical! Terra is an incredibly written story that grabs the reader from the very first pages. I was able to read Terra in about a day - it's a page turner for sure! My only complaint is that the second book isn't already in my ha ...more
Amanda Nadeau
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When the author sent me an advanced copy to read, I was a mix of excited and skeptical. I've liked some YA books, but haven't jumped on the bandwagon completely. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I found myself unable to put down my Kindle. Ms. Powell did an excellent job of immediately making you care about her characters. For a first novel, I think that is what impressed me the most: her character development and her use of dialogue. I never once felt like the dialogue was forced or fa ...more
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this book since it's geared towards young adults, and I'm not really a young adult. But I really enjoyed it! The plot is similar to the few other dystopian YA books that I've read, but there are definitely some differences that I didn't see coming!
I thought this book was well-written, creative, and kept me guessing until the end (and beyond. I can't wait for the next book!).
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge fan of young adult dystopian literature and this book definitely did not disappoint. The story is engaging and the plot had the perfect amount of twists and turns to keep me on the edge of my seat without being over the top. If you've enjoyed other young adult books in this genre (Maze Runner, Hunger Games, Gone, Divergent) you'll love this one too. I can't wait for book two to come out to see what happens next! ...more
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookgasm

I loved this book! Gretchen Powell created a world so unique to escape to, it was devastating. Terra is the true star of this book, she reminded me of Katniss Everdeen, a strong heroine. She is independent and selfless with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Well written and even funny at times, I loved Terra's hostility and sarcastic remarks. By far the best dystopian based book I've read in a while. Eagerly awaiting the next installment.
Miranda Lynn
This was so good, I couldn't stop reading and finished it in a matter of hours! If you liked Hunger Games & Divergent, you're missing out if you don't read "Terra" too. I thought that Powell did a great job of making the main characters relatable. I really cared about them. And the story is so interesting... I don't know how I'm going to be able to wait until the next one comes out! ...more
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013-2014-read
Solid, enjoyable dystopian scifi story if a little bland at times. Terra and her brother are great characters. The love interest could've used more depth though. The instalove is ridiculous, as instalove generally is. ...more
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Off to a great start, excited for the next installment!
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Q&A with Gretchen...: Fun Facts 9 30 Feb 23, 2013 09:33AM  
Q&A with Gretchen...: Favorite Character 1 12 Feb 07, 2013 09:22PM  

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Half-Chinese and the daughter of a US diplomat, Gretchen Powell spent her childhood growing up in far-off places. She made it all the way to her mid-twenties whilst maintaining her deep-seated love for young adult novels, so she decided to write one of her own.

Her creative process involves copious amounts of Sour Patch Kids and sleeping fitfully. Her many interests include anything with polka dots

Other books in the series

Terrestrials (2 books)
  • Underground (Terrestrials, #2)

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