The 13th Continuum is another YA dystopian, meaning it didn’t add much to the genre. Weak characters and a lack of logic made for a rather dull read. Die hard dystopian devotees will still probably find it hard to pass up, but if you are over it, you won’t miss much here. As usual, there are other reviewers who thought it topped sliced bread, but I gave it three stars.
One thousand years after a cataclysmic event leaves humanity on the brink of extinction, the survivors take refuge in continuums designed to sustain the human race until repopulation of Earth becomes possible. Against this backdrop, a group of young friends in the underwater Thirteenth Continuum dream about life outside their totalitarian existence, an idea that has been outlawed for centuries. When a shocking discovery turns the dream into a reality, they must decide if they will risk their own extinction to experience something no one has for generations, the Surface.
While I liked the idea of this book, I didn’t actually like the book. First, it didn’t feel polished. In particular, the pacing seemed off. I’m not sure if it was the amount of detail that was included in the social structure of the world or if it was really the result of trying to establish relationships between characters, but the fallout was that it slowed the story to the point that I began to lose interest. I thought it was smart for the author to incorporate the second colony because the appearance of Aero recaptured my interest for a while.
Second, the plot was problematic for me. I was never really clear about what motivated Aero’s colony, so I struggled to find the logic in the conflict.
Finally, I never really connected with any of the characters. Myra was an adequate character, but she didn’t really have any sparkle or wit about her. I liked her dedication to her family, but she was bland. Aero was a little more interesting because he was contemplating the negatives in his society but he was also able to show the advantages he felt he gained from the system. I found that much more intriguing than a character placed in an obviously flawed society. The relationship between these two was way too accelerated and I didn’t understand the logic behind that. Overall, this just wasn’t a book I connected with, and I don’t think it is engaging enough to keep my high school students interested, though the premise will certainly catch their attention. Language and situations are appropriate for middle and high school readers.
I received an ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.