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Moyer, Jenny. Flashfall.

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Moyer, Jenny. Flashfall. Henry Holt/ Macmillan, 2016. 352p. $17.99. 978-1-62779481-7.

Orion is a subpar, which means she is less susceptible to radiation poisoning than the average person. Subpars spend their lives mining cirium until radiation sickness overtakes them, but if they can mine 400 grams, they are guaranteed a space in the protected city of Alara. When Orion and her mining partner, Dram, happen upon a huge vein of cirium, it seems they have found the ticket to safety for everyone in their community. What they do not realize is that they have triggered a chain of events that will ultimately lead either to their freedom or to their destruction.

Flashfall starts with vivid descriptions of a unique and stark world of tunnels and radiation. There is constant danger as Orion and Dram climb through the mines. What follows is a series of increasingly desperate events, each one becoming steadily worse until it seems unlikely that Orion will survive. This constant and oppressive danger makes the overall mood of the novel bleak and depressing. There is a romance between Orion and Dram, but it offers little respite from the bleak dystopian/science fiction plot. The main characters are somewhat unrealistic; they never give up and always behave nobly. Though the book has a happy ending, the conclusion does not follow logically from the excessively dire circumstances that precede it. This novel will fit the tastes of readers who like constant action and danger and will appreciate highly dramatic, slightly outrageous plots.--Cheryl Clark.

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Author:Clark, Cherly
Publication:Voice of Youth Advocates
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Dec 1, 2016
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