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Below

Below, August 2016
Sky Chronicles #1
by Jason Chabot

Turner
308 pages
ISBN: 1681626012
EAN: 9781681626017
Kindle: B01B54LKNK
Paperback / e-Book
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"A Whole New Twist on the Sky Is Falling"

Fresh Fiction Review

Below
Jason Chabot

Reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Posted August 17, 2016

Young Adult Fantasy

Creating an unusual world for a fantasy trilogy can prove difficult in today's glut of stories from which to choose. Jason Chabot manages this in BELOW, the first installment of his Broken Sky Chronicles. This world is comprised of Above and Below. Above is a world of islands that drift through the clouds; the people are ruled by twin emperors; and the Imperial Guard keeps order. Elia works in the palace laundry and lives with her poor family near the border of an island. Those who live Above are afraid of scavengers who attack anyone who comes to close or falls off the edge toward Below.

Below resembles more the remnants of a world with plains of grasslands and a city ravaged by time. With only access to clouds and no sun, Below gets endless amounts of rain. Hokk lives Below with his fox, Nym. He was exiled from the city six years ago and can return after four more.

But everything changes when Elia and Hokk meet after Elia's island plummets and too close to the edge, she falls Below. It's interesting as the two compare their perceptions of each other's world, but there's more afoot. Strange bones appeared in Elia's laundry, and secrets are being kept in both places. The two will try to figure everything out as the tale progresses.

Chabot does a wonderful job explaining the world, and I found it intriguing. I'm interesting in the two main characters although I don't necessarily like either of them, but perhaps they need more development before they'll evoke the necessary emotion I need to truly fall into a book.

Chabot has some nice plot twists, but some events appear too coincidental akin to the teenage girl going into the basement in the horror movie. My favorite character at this point is an alleged villain, but he has the most facets at this point. My quibbles may have to do with this being the first book in a trilogy. Hopefully, we'll get to know our protagonists better in the following two novels and see more depth of character. Then again, maybe I'm asking too much of a young adult story which I will definitely finish as my need to know how things end will prevail over any quibbles.

Learn more about Below

SUMMARY

No one but the dead dare venture Below . . .

The first volume in this thrilling trilogy opens on the barren plains of Below, where Hokk and his fox sidekick, Nym, live in exile amid the remnants of our modern age.

Overhead, on the floating islands of Above, Elia is trapped in a life of endless toil and drudgery as a laundress for the Mirrored Palace. To Elia, the islands’ edges are borders that no one dares cross until the ancient ritual that delivers the dead to Below. But a series of natural disasters rumbling through Above sends Elia’s world crashing into Hokk’s—and she falls Below.

Their journey together will propel them across endless plains and through shattered cities in a centuries-old battle for the very earth and sky around them . . .


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