Friday, November 11, 2016

Guy Friday- Above

How many clues that this is the second book did I manage to ignore? All of them. No wonder I was a little confused for most of it!

Smith, Roland. Above (Beneath #2)
September 27th 2016 by Scholastic Press
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

Pat and his brother Cooper have escaped from Beneath, as has Kate, the granddaughter of Lawrence, the founder of a group of 1960s radicals, the Pod, who are all living in an underground society in New York City. They are now on the run across the country, but get separated. Kate fears that two of the members, Bella and Bill, are following her. Pat and Cooper has teamed up with Alex, Lawrence's brother who has been keeping tabs on the group while living in a New York library! Tensions are rife as the four try to evade the others, but eventually, Kate is caught. This is all part of her plan to bring the group down. Alex has plans of his own, and when all of them get brought into the new underground community, everything comes to a menacing conclusion. Will Lawrence and the Pod manage to destroy society as we know it, or will Kate, Pat and Cooper be able to stop him. 

The premise of this book was fascinating. What did happen to the many 1960s radicals like the Weathermen? All of the people who lived in communes? It seems that many of them got tired and became "regular" members of society, probably even the Yuppies of the 1980s. The thought that some of them would have stayed in a fringe society off the grid is an interesting one. The depiction of their actions, surveillance methods and Grand Plan are intriguingly written and thought provoking. 

The cross country trip is exciting and effectively done. I liked seeing that Kate had taken her training and used it to leave notes for the brothers. Alex's presence lends a bit of extra threat to the whole proceeding, since he definitely seems half a bubble off. Since Lawrence is an entire bubble off, his actions seem reasonable!

Above combines elements of survival, conspiracy, and adventure novels in a compelling way. Readers who like Smith's other work, such as Peak or the Cryptid Hunters books will certainly want to pick up this series, which will also be popular with readers of Horowitz's Alex Rider books, Klavan's The Last Thing I Remember, and Dashner's Eye of Minds series.

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