Release Date: March 4, 2010
Review Source: Library
Synopsis: (from Amazon.ca)
An invisible, uncrossable physical barrier encloses the Unified States. The Line is the part of the border that lopped off part of the country, dooming the inhabitants to an unknown fate when the enemy used a banned weapon. It's said that bizarre creatures and superhumans live on the other side, in Away. Nobody except tough old Ms. Moore would ever live next to the Line.
Nobody but Rachel and her mother, who went to live there after Rachel's dad died in the last war. It's a safe, quiet life. Until Rachel finds a mysterious recorded message that can only have come from Away. The voice is asking for help.
Who sent the message? Why is her mother so protective? And to what lengths is Rachel willing to go in order to do what she thinks is right?
This book had a bit of a slow start, and I found it hard to absorb all the facts about the Unified States, the National Border Defense System, and, most importantly, The Line. Hall tells the reader these details through the history lessons Rachel's mother, Vivian, makes her do, and it feels a bit prescribed. Nevertheless, I was drawn into this book by my curiosity, because it became clear that all the characters have secrets, and I desperately wanted to know what they were. The perspective of characters goes back and forth a few times, but not in a confusing way. It lets you get to know each main character a little bit better, which I appreciated. Once things started happening in regards to The Line the pace of this book picked up, and I became more deeply engaged in the characters and their actions. This was a good read, though I wasn't overwhelmed by it. My one main complaint is that despite the fact that I knew there was going to be a 2nd book, the novel feels incomplete. It doesn't even feel like a cliffhanger, it just feels like the first half of a book. Maybe this is because not a lot actually happens, I'm not sure. I'll definitely read the 2nd book when it comes out because I'm curious about what Away is like and what will happen to Rachel, but it will be one I pick up from the library.
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