Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Book Review - The Line by Teri Hall | ★★

In The Line a girl named Rachel lives on The Property together with her mother Vivian. Vivian is employed by the owner of the property, Ms. Moore, to take care of the house. Rachel does not go to school, her mother teaches her at home. During the day she works in Ms. Moore´s greenhouse and helps her with breeding orchids.

Rachel is a very curious girl and while her mother teaches her everything she needs to know about the Unified States she is drawn to the Line, an invisible barrier, which separates the country from the abandoned and terrifying land Away, where it is said that strange people and animals live, ever since it was barricaded off many years ago by the government. If anybody tried to cross the line they would get in to a lot of trouble with the now extremely controlling government, but they aren´t even physically able to anyway.

Rachel loves to explore the Property and its surroundings, including the Line. Ignoring everything her mother warned her about, Rachel is fascinated by it. One day she finds a communicator device on which an old man from Away asks for help and medicine. She decides to go and look around at the mentioned meeting point and there she meets Pathik, a young man who was sent to get help for his sick father. As soon as Rachel accepts to help Pathik, she realises that there must be more to Away that she has been told. about this book...I didn´t like it. At all.
Firstly, the book is only 200 pages with a story that could have easily filled much more than that. The concept is good for a dystopian novel but there is a lot missing. The only times you get to know something about the history of the country or the characters are when Rachel has her lessons with her mother or when somebody tells her a secret, and both instances are rare.

Secondly, the story progresses very slow. The only interesting things happen within the last 70-100 pages, the events before that are slightly or if at all relevant.

Then there are words Teri Hall used to describe the story's surroundings. Not just the United States have changed to Unified States, all countries have different names. Even simple things like photographs have different names (photographs = digims). The country names are very bad for understanding what happened. The story doesn´t take place in another world or something like that where it would have been OK and normal to use other names...but it so near to the real ones that it was unnecessary.

The fourth (and for me probably most annoying) thing that bothers me with this book is the cliffhanger at the end. I can´t stand cliffhangers. And I know even though I don´t recommend reading it, I will read at least the second book of the series just because of what´s happening at the end.

I am very sorry that there aren´t any quotes in the review, but i couldn´t think of any who would have fit in.

Good concept, no good implementation. That cliffhanger, though!