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Fourth World

(Iamos Trilogy #1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  47 reviews
IAMOS, S.C.D. 8378
Nadin's planet is dying. As its atmosphere drains away, her people are forced to live huddled in domed cities for protection. With only enough resources to support the population for one more year, time is running out. Nadin thinks she's found a way to save Iamos, but it will mean defying the planet's rulers, the geroi—and betraying the geroi could cost h
Paperback, 317 pages
Published December 29th 2015
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  118 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Fourth World is a rather complex fantasy tale that takes place upon Mars. In the year 2073 the planet has renewed life and people from Earth have began to inhabit it. Isaak is a teenager whose father has left him and his family but when he starts digging into his father's things he finds an ancient coin that seems to have come from previous inhabitants of the planet. Stumbling on what his father had been looking into Isaak finds himself traveling back to a Mars of the past that was known as Iamo ...more
Trigger warnings: eugenics, disappearance of a parent, aphobia.

I stand by everything I said last time, and I'm now very excited to jump into the sequel.

Isaak lives on Mars, fifty-ish years in the future. He just wants to get through his senior year in one piece, but when he finds an ancient coin on a geological excavation, he's suddenly the government's most wanted.

Nadin's planet is dying. As the atmosphere slowly drains away, the population are confined to domed cities and
This book takes on so many awesome things at once - colonies on Mars, dystopian governments, an almost entirely-POC cast, space archaeology, time travel, LGBT characters - that you worry, at first, that it's taken on too much. Maybe this is just too many cool things in one book, it'll turn out to be all gimmicks and no substance.

But no.

This book fires perfectly on all cylinders.

It's a crazy adventure ride through two dystopian worlds, fighting against two crazy governments, using all kinds of a
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
Just an FYI: The awesome cover is courtesy of author Elise Marion's company Mosaic Stock. If you're an author needing professional covers featuring multicultural characters (and yes, covers DO matter), check out her site and support her. She can even do custom photo shoots. ...more
RoAnna Sylver
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gems, reviews
"You will have to search. Seek, and you will find. Begin where we began—the answer is in plain sight, if you know where to look. The three sisters will guide the way. Touch the highest peak, and you will find me in the place where freedom lies."

* * *

Atlantis, guys. Freaking Atlantis. On Mars.

Conspiracy theories. Buried secrets (and bodies). Sci-fi concepts so lyrically described it sometimes feels like high fantasy. Natural dialogue, a thoroughly detailed society and culture with its own quirks
Polenth Blake
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Isaak lives on Mars and discovers something that hints at the history of the planet. Nadin lives on Iamos and her people are threatened with destruction.

The beginning of the book focuses on Isaak, with Nadin coming into it later on. It's clear from the start that they're both on Mars in different times. Isaak is literally digging up Nadin's history, as he assists on a geology dig site.

I liked the worldbuilding of Iamos. Its culture has hints of ancient Earth civilisations, but it isn't exactly l
Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it

**** 4 Cranky Stars ****

I've sat and mulled on this review for a few days. There is so much to like about this book: it's clever. It makes my nerd flag fly.

The play on words in the title "Fourth World" - is both a reference to the idea of the indigenous/first nations as well as time and space. It's diverse. I welcome more works where diverse characters take center stage and their stories are main focal points, rather than sidekicks.

It draws on ancient mythology and situates it in a different co
Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA.

Pros: Interesting premise. Varied (and diverse) cast of characters who (mostly) feel like real teens.
Cons: While interesting, the premise is not overly original. While nice, the characters don't exactly grab you. Some telling-vs.-showing.
Will appeal to: Those who like time travel, mandatory but slightly out-of-the-box romances, and accidental heroes.

First off...SORT-OF DISCLAIMER: I won a digital copy of Fourth World in a giveaway a wh
Sofia The Great
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4 1/2 Platypires for Fourth World by Lyssa Chiavari


Okay... now for the review. Lol.

I was hooked after the first chapter I truly enjoyed this book and really like it when a book makes me think. I kept trying to guess what happens next and trying to figure out how it all works. Before I get ahead of myself, the story is told through two POVs. Isaak who's living on Mars and Nadin who's on Iamos. Both of them are in pivotal moments in their lives where the adults/gov't
Claudie Arseneault
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, ya, lgbt, asexual
First, disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of Fourth World in exchange for a honest review.

The honest review is that this book? Is amazing. Striking characters evolving in a beautifully-described Mars, coherent and entrancing worldbuilding, a mystery that builds relentlessly, one question after the other ... everything in this ranges from good to amaze-balls, and in my opinion is sticks closer to amaze-balls most of the time.

Add to that two ace-spectrum protagonist, and I feel like I've bee
Book Gannet
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book. I think I saw the gorgeous cover, heard mention of demisexual and asexual characters and went for it. And I’m so glad I did, because this tale of two worlds, two very different teenagers and a whole bundle of interwoven secrets was great – intricate, clever, accessible and highly enjoyable.

Isaak lives on a near-future Mars, where the colony has been developed as an off-Earth manufacturing centre. With no centralised Earth-con
Linda Lou
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Actually 3.5 stars.
I received a copy of Fourth World for an honest review (seriously, is there any other kind?)

The story opens with a prologue with Nadin outside the dome on Iamos because she wanted to see the sunset. Upon returning back to the dome she finds Isaak unconscious in the sand. Both are rescued and so the story begins. Nadin's world of Iamos is dying and she, along with all of the Iamoi have most likely less than a year to live. Nadin is the next leader of her people and she is faced
4 stars
Really cool and enjoyable read with on-page demisexual as well as potential asexual rep.
Kinda basic overthrow-government-conspiracies-and-save-the-world plot but otherwise diverse YA SciFi with a bit of time travel and two a-spec protagonists (one demisexual and one still figuring it out, but probably sex-repulsed/touch-averse asexual).
Nice to read and not boring at all, but I wasn't wholly engaged.

Content warnings include: aphobia (both external and internalized), abuse of power/corrupt government, racism, unwanted kissing and hugging, disappearance of a parent, humanity-induced
May 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay I was not expecting a dystopian fantasy time travel YA novel set on Mars when I decided I'd read this but it was actually really enjoyable!

3.75 or 4 stars (I haven't decided yet)
Tonja Drecker
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fourth World pulls many different elements together to form an intriguing and vivid world.

Isaak lives on Mars in the year 2073 in a pretty divided society which is controlled more by a cooperation than anyone is willing to admit. When a class trip reveals the same stone archway that he has on a coin from his father, the adventure begins.

Nadine lives on Mars, far in the past. Her society is heavily controlled and dying. When Isaak appears through the time portal, her entire life is up-ended.

Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What really attracted me right off the bat was the beautiful cover, and the story inside did not disappoint! Fourth World has all the elements–appealing main characters, fully realized secondary characters, fantastic setting (I mean, it’s on MARS!!), alien civilizations, archaeology, chilling villains and surprises around every corner.

I was hooked right from the first pages of the prologue. Isaak is a tremendously interesting protagonist, and it didn’t take long to be completely drawn into his s
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read this review and more on my blog.

I received a free copy of Fourth World in exchange for my honest opinion.

Fourth World was so much better than I expected. The way the planets, Mars and Iamos are portrayed made me even more interested in space; and considering i am watch Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey right now, I would say that I enjoy space quite a bit.

Fourth World is a medium-paced science fiction that surprisingly kept me entertained. One thing that i hope that will happen in the rest of th
Kristīne Vītola
(demisexual main character (Isaak), heteroromantic (? alloromantic) asexual main character (Nadin), prominent role of friendships and families)
P.S. There was some misunderstanding about planets and their names in the past: Hamos = Venus, Simos = Earth. The book sometimes didn't make it clear enough or straight out confused them.
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dec 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Fourth World is an interesting YA sci-fi adventure involving primarily Isaak and later Nadin. I liked both characters but I found myself able to relate and understand Isaak more than Nadin. Perhaps it's because the world Isaak lived in is more relatable than Nadin's but I also found his personality endearing while hers occasionally annoying. Let's just say I enjoyed his POV better than hers but she wasn't that bad near the end.

That said, I do like the world building in Iamos, the world Nadin is
Saruuh Kelsey
I really, really love the archaeology/geology bits of this book, and I wasn't expecting them at all. I thought it'd be a pretty typical space book (which, lets be fair, I love SO MUCH) so I was totally surprised to find all the excavation and the mystery (and the doorway/gate stuff, which made this book so much cooler!)

The first half of Fourth World is by far my favourite. I'm still not sure if I actually like the citidome parts - I was really wishing for more excavation, wanting to go back to t
Madeline (The Bookish Mutant)
Let’s start off with the good aspects. Our cast of characters is incredibly diverse–virtually all of the characters are POC (Isaak is Latinx, Nadin is POC, and several other POC side characters). Additionally, Isaak is demisexual, and Nadin seems to be on the asexual spectrum. So props to Chiavari for creating a wonderfully diverse cast!

Now…other than that…

[awkward silence]


The main problem of Fourth World is that it seemed to get lost within itself. The plot became very convoluted far too qui
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

I really loved this. I don't usually read science fiction, but this was good enough to make me like the genre a lot more. I also liked the asexual representation.

However, I'm a little sick of asexual characters in YA being put in awkward (non-consensual) sexual situations to explain to the reader that they are sex repulsed. What happened to Nadin in the second half of the book felt unnecessary. Also, a love triangle in an ace positive book? Really?

Other than that I liked it!
Fay Tannerr
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars!

Fourth World was an interesting futuristic novel set on Mars. It had elements of mystery, dystopia and even time travel!

The year is 2073 and humans have colonized on Mars for some time now. When Isaak, a high school student, and his friends start digging at an archaeology dig, they find something that might change the way they thought about Mars.

I found the plot of Fourth World to be captivating and unique. I loved the dual narration of Isaak and Nadin and to see how different life is
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a random Twitter rec and I need a time machine so I can read the next book now
Isis Prosser
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was... wow. I knew I was in for something good when I started reading this, but it still exceeded my expectations and blew me away.

If you like books with good characters, lush worldbuilding, writing that pulls you in from the very first page, and a Mars setting, then this is the book for you. Oh, and that ending! That ending!

I'll be starting "Different Worlds" soon. I'm already suffering a book hangover, lol.
Mary Fan
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lyssa Chiavari's vividly imagined YA sci-fi novel, FOURTH WORLD, opens on Nadin, a teen whose dying planet's days are numbered. With the air now toxic, her people are forced to live inside domed cities and must wear protective gear if they venture beyond the domes' protections. Which is why she's so shocked when a strange boy turns up outside with no life support and no identity.

Cut to how this boy got there. Isaak Contreras' family came from Earth as part of late 21st-century colonization effor
I picked up this YA science fiction because I heard it had asexual representation. That turned out to be the only memorable thing about it.

Isaak is a teenage boy living on a future Mars colony. Then he sees a strange arch formation that almost exactly matches the depiction on an ancient coin belonging to his missing father. But how is that possible? There’s no such thing as ancient Martian civilization… right?

Most of what’s described in the official blurb doesn’t happen until much later into the
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of Fourth World by Lyssa Chiavari from the publisher in return for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Fourth World was such a fun, exhilarating read! Lyssa has created a world full of conspiracies, time travel, aliens, mysteries, space, archeology, super cool technology and fantastic characters all in an awesome setting! The setting = MARS! How cool is that?! And Lyssa does a great job depicting what life could be like on Mars.

Fourth World was a real page-
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Lyssa Chiavari is an author of speculative fiction for young adults, including Fourth World, the first book in a sci-fi trilogy set on Mars, and Cheerleaders From Planet X, a tongue-in-cheek send-up of all things sci-fi. Her short fiction has appeared in Wings of Renewal: A Solarpunk Dragon Anthology, Brave New Girls: Tales of Heroines Who Hack, Magic at Midnight: A YA Fairytale Anthology and Perc ...more

Other books in the series

Iamos Trilogy (3 books)
  • New World (Iamos Trilogy, #2)
  • One World (Iamos Trilogy, #3)

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