In this dystopian sci-fi novel, we meet Elise, a mom with two young girls trying to survive an invasion of subterranean humanoids. After a harrowing rescue at the safe zone, Elise is drafted to use her scientific knowledge to reclaim humanity.
I love the creativity behind the undergrounders' entire existence, from their creepy physical appearance to their cannibalism. This is one of those novels that stands out from others in its genre.
You know how we say kids will grow out of their fear of the dark? Well, thanks to Eli Constant, I'm reversing in that department, afraid that the beasties are going to claw their way into my nightmares when I turn the light out at night.
The story is well-paced with action in all the right places. However, when Elise reaches the safe zone and begins working with the other scientists, there are moments when the science lingo makes my eyes glaze over, much like Elise's when another scientist is enthusiastically explaining a procedure to her that Elise herself doesn't understand. While I admire the author's scientific knowledge - and a science background is definitely important in a sci-fi novel - there is a fine line between basic understanding and excessive science lingo. After all, some of us barely passed high school biology.
Elise is a strong female protagonist, which I always admire in an apocalyptic world. She had her moments of indecisiveness and bonehead mistakes, but that just makes her character feel more real. I like to pretend I'm tough, but I know I wouldn't be able to keep it together all the time if underground monsters had taken over our world. And while there are plenty of intense, scary scenes, there are just enough heart-warming moments to keep it all balanced.
Aside from the spelling issues, Dead Trees is an exciting, yet scary and suspenseful read, and I recommend it to all dystopia and science fiction fans. And with the release of Dead Trees II only two months away, I can't wait to see what the future holds for Elise and her band of survivors.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
[I originally read this book in March 2014. I am in the process of transferring my blog contents.]