Happy Sunday friends!
I’ve read one of those books which will be a strong contestant for my Book Of the Year Award! Welliver has written a well composed, solid dystopian novel which is the start of a trilogy and I can’t wait for the second book! The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads:
What if living forever was a death sentence?
Decades after the discovery that a small percentage of the population has stopped ageing, the Avalonia Zone is in crisis. From overpopulation to food shortages, the ‘Undying’ have been blamed for the state’s problems, banished to the fringes of society, and punished for every minor infraction.
When sixteen-year-old Sadie takes the fall for an attack by a rebel group, The Alchemists, she suddenly finds herself wrenched away from her quiet life and from her ailing father.
Armed with little help and even less knowledge, Sadie is thrust into a cold and cryptic ‘correctional facility’ – The Tower. Here she’ll have to rethink everything she’s been told about the Undying population in an attempt to save the life she knows, protect a group of unlikely friends, and give voice to the voiceless in a society on the brink of catastrophic upheaval.
This is Welliver’s debut novel and I am flabbergasted! This is a new universe and I’ve had some diverse experiences with brand new universes, mostly on the not so good side but this! This is something else! When I entered the Avalonia Zone I wasn’t quite sure what I expected. I got the sense that something unusual was brewing but I loved the suspense and the surprise when the book really kicked off! It kicked off early which I really liked but throughout the story we also moved back and forth between present and past times in the life of our main character Sadie. This creates a greater understanding of what the Avalonian Zone is and how it has become the way it is today. I hope these snippets continues in the coming books because I really enjoyed getting to know more about the Avalonia Zone in this way!
The whole concept of Undying are also a fascinating thing. When I first read the synopsis I immediately thought of zombies but that’s not quite right. Since they’re not dead and don’t eat brains they don’t qualify for the zombie category. To be honest I was quite glad they weren’t zombies because they don’t appeal to me as literal creatures. The way Melliver has spun the tale around the Undead and their upcoming is very intriguing, and I was rather surprised when I saw where the story were headed in terms of what goes on beyond the public eye. There is a lot of secrets connected to the Avalonian Zone that I’m looking very much forward to get to know in the future books in this series! And the cliffhanger at the end of this book?! I mean how long do I have to wait cause I need answers like yesterday!
Sadie, our main character, is a very interesting character for many reasons. Firstly she’s one of the lucky people in the Avalonian Zone. Her father has had a rather good job within the Administration and this gives them some perks. Further we see a very dramatic development in her as a character throughout the book as the synopsis indicates. I think this development is very nicely balanced between a new Sadie and her old self. Dramatic changes in characters can, in my opinion, go very wrong but I feel like Sadie’s development is dramatic for a reason. This reason becomes somewhat clear during this book but I believe it will be even clearer when the next few books comes along!
The Undying Tower is an amazing first book in what I expect to be a great trilogy! If you’re looking for a different kind of dystopian then you should definitely check this book out! To be recommended for both young adults and adults. Norway has estimated the sale of this book to be available around October 10th!
Melissa Welliver writes speculative fiction about how the End Of The World is never really the end of the world. After studying MA Creative Writing under Jeanette Winterson at the University of Manchester, she went on to complete Curtis Brown Creative’s Writing for Children course. Her work has listed in Bath Novel Award, Mslexia, the Hachette Children’s Novel Award, and the Wells Book for Children Competition. She has been published in two short story collections and is an avid member of the Twitter writing community. Born in Stockport, she now lives in the High Peak with an assortment of doggy friends. The Undying Tower is her first novel.
To be published: September 9th 2021
Theme: Survival, friends, secrets