I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Why did I start reading it?
I was needing a shorter read to fill a gap. Threw out a tweet and the author got back to me. This book has been on my list for a while so I was happy to give it a go.
What is it?
In a world ravaged by monsters, humanity survives in a shielded dome. When kids reach 16 they are thrown into the S-grounds to experience fear which causes them to synchronise with a monster and gain supernatural abilities.
It's the turn of Kai and his classmates as they all aim to gain their abilities and become Blue-collars, people who venture beyond the dome for its protection.
What are the characters like?
They take a bit of getting used to. They are all pretty extreme, especially at the start. Two super angsty teens in Kai and Rey, the ray of sunshine character in Sora and the annoying overconfident one in Clay. There were a couple of others that I wish I had gotten to know better but the ones they book gave a bit of time to grew on me. They felt really... I don't know, blunt stereotypes to begin with, but there were some good character moments that smoothed them over into characters I wanted to follow.
Anyone particularly cool?
Well, Sora is best girl because I love sunshine characters like her that just want to make everyone smile. She is a much-needed break from the angsty Kai and Rey. She is mainly with Rey as a friend so I need to clone her so Kai can have a happy friend too. Everyone needs a Sora.
What's the bad news?
The writing is a bit...clunky. Not sure how to describe it but there were times I struggled to follow what was going on. In the finale, I had to read it a couple of times to figure out how exactly the villain was stopped by what happened. It's action sequences were fine but there were times when I couldn't quite put together the scene in my head. This is, however, the author's first book and I have faith she'll improve with each book (I know I have with Moon Girl.)
As I state every time this comes up I hate having to point out spelling (cause I feel hypocritical when I do) and for the most part, I'll let it off but there were times in this book that it was pretty glaring. I feel like it could have benefited from a different pair of eyes looking over it, even if it wasn't a professional.
And the good news?
I really enjoyed it. Once the book got into the swing of things it was actually pretty interesting. The Dome, the creatures. the world it builds up is one I want to know more about, I can't wait for Kai and the others to be sent out to see what else is in the world.
Like I said, the characters really grew on me too. Even Clay who came across really annoying in the beginning got some interesting character moments that make me wonder where the author plans to go in his arc. I really wasn't sure I was going to like this book to begin with but I was swayed by these babies. The characters seem like a really fun bunch of kids and I would love to read more about their daily shenanigans as they learned to become blue collars.
Also, it's been a while since I have come across a villain so downright evil. Like damn, I'm sure they snort the crystalise tears of children when their bored or something.
Would you recommend?
If you are willing to get through the intro section and are a fan of teen drama, superpowers and strange dystopian worlds then go for it. It's a pretty short read with some nice art too!
Grab your copy of here:
Beyond the Dome
For another short read you can check out The Magical Girl Is a Boy! Check out my full review here.