Friday, January 20, 2012

Away (fiction)

Leave your family behind...
Abandon all your technology...
Venture into an uncertain future...

Could you be as brave as Rachel? Could you live in the Unified States whose heartless government refused to rescue any of its citizens who were stuck on the other side of the Line when the crazybombs fell?

This compelling sequel to Hall's first novel (review) takes us to the other side of The Line where "the Others" have lived a generation among ruined buildings with no electricity, scavenging what they can and trying to keep their children alive long enough for them to grow up. Perhaps these psychically gifted kids can help this fragile society survive attacks from ferocious mutant animals and equally ferocious humans who've embraced their savage side with a vengeance.

This couldn't really happen in our future, could it?

Book info: Away / Teri Hall. Dial Books, 2011. [author's website] [publisher site]

My Recommendation: Rachel knows she can never return home if she crosses the Line, but it’s the only way to save a man’s life. So she carries medicine into a primitive land – the land where the government stranded some of its own citizens when it sealed the country against enemy invasions when a terrible weapon was unleashed.

Seeing something – someone - on the other side of the Line’s energy field was amazing and dangerous for them both. Pathik asks her to find medicine to cure his father, and Rachel is amazed at her own willingness to risk sneaking anything past the government’s ruthless Enforcement Office.

After her dad Daniel was reported dead in the early fighting, Rachel and her mom were safe at Miss Vivian’s property away from the city. But even in little towns, the EO keeps tabs on everyone and wants to know why Rachel has run away from home and where she went.

Far away from the Line, Rachel finds a world of mutated animals and scant resources. Without the psychic gifts of the other teens here, she’s a liability to her new community until she learns survival skills. Each small village keeps to itself, and only a few Travelers dare to cross the barren land between settlements.

When they hear that Daniel the Traveler has been captured by a nearby village noted for its brutality, the leaders of Pathik’s village decide to rescue him. They reluctantly allow Rachel to go on the mission since only she knows how to use the modern tools she brought across the Line.

Could this Daniel possibly be her Daniel, her father sent unwillingly into battle across the Line? Rachel has to face the dangers to find out.

Can Rachel survive without the psychic gifts that everyone else has here? Can she really make it in a world without technology? What will the EO do to her mom and Miss Vivian since Rachel crossed the Line and went Away?

The dystopian future of Rachel’s life may be closer than we think, closer than we’d like to believe… sequel to The Line. (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy courtesy of the publisher.


  1. Katy, thanks for leaving me a comment on my blog and telling me about yours! I am glad you enjoy my story starters at I write mostly picture books but I read a LOT of ya and mg and I am always looking for great books to read. I will check back to yor blog and follow you on twitter Do you also recommend books on Goodreads?

  2. Great site, and awesome review. I like how you spell out a lot of information here. Thank you!

  3. Thanks for visiting, y'all! Just heard from author Teri Hall on Twitter that she's working on sequel, The Island = can't wait!!

    @Alison, I tried working with Goodreads, but it wouldn't accept URLs in review, so can't point folks over here to my blog and other books they might enjoy. Perhaps some time when I'm all caught up (ha!) I will try again.

  4. I liked this second book a bit more than the first, since there was more action. I'm also curious to see how the story will continue.

  5. @Ms. Yingling - Yes, there was a good bit of 'world-building' in The Line (my recommendation at, but I liked its premise and was glad to see Away in my mailbox. I bet that there will be plenty of action on The Island! Teri said that it may or may not be with her current publisher, so we'll keep our eyes peeled for future announcements.

  6. Sounds like two very interesting books. Love the look of your blog!

  7. I like that you focus on books beyond the bestseller lists. There are so many excellent books that live outside the limelight, it's nice to have a place to learn about them. Great theme for a blog and great purpose for a Librarian-at-large!

  8. Do you ever make theme-related book lists, or "if you liked this, try this" lists?

  9. Thanks, Sally & JenFW - nice to get feedback & know that I'm not talking to myself.

    @Jen, I've done a few theme posts on paranormal books, funny books, out-of-USA books. I'd thought that folks would click on the labels (in right sidebar) to find all the books in subjects they're interested in.

    Perhaps I'll create pages with theme lists as I get more recommendations posted.


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