Review: Above by Isla Morley

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (March 4, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 1476731527
  • Source: Publisher

At just sixteen years old, Blythe Hallowell is abducted by a survivalist, kept prisoner in an abandoned missile silo. She tries without success to escape, he captor spouting stories about the the end of the world. He believes that the two of them alone are humankind’s salvation, destined to repopulate the world after the apocalypse.  Slowly, reluctantly, Blythe understands there is no hope for her escape and she has a sudden realization about the bleakness of her situation.

It isn’t until she is expected to raise a child in confinement that she has some sense of hope.  She is determined that he have the life that was stolen from her.  It isn’t until, years later, when Blythe is able to step outside that she realizes the enormity of what has transpired since she was taken, the vast differences in the world she had in the silo, down deep in the earth, and the strange, unknown world above.

So. I am intentionally being very very vague with my synopsis of this novel!  Going in, all the reader needs to know is that this young woman, carefree and young, is abducted by a man who has been obsessed with her for most of her life. Everything that happens after that must be discovered by the reader, and the reader alone.  What happens while Blythe is held captive in that silo is bleak, it is dark, it is depressing.  Your heart will be broken. You will cry. You will yell. You will utter expletives. And then…something happens that totally changes the outlook of this book. And you will shout more expletives, but you will want to hug the author for the sheer brilliance of this novel.  For Above is a novel that I will be shouting about from the rooftops, a novel that is impossible to categorize into just one genre.  It is a novel like none other; I can’t even begin to think of a book to compare it to for it is wholly unique.

Readers of all ages, from young adult to adult will find a connection with Blythe. She starts out as a young, carefree teen and we follow her as the cruelty of being held captive wears away at her soul and willpower. Then we see her, determination regained, when she becomes responsible for another life.  And then, Morely stuns her readers as she reveals that Above is not only a novel about Blythe’s situation, but what has been transpiring in the world above, around her. It’s simply brilliant. I’m getting goosebumps thinking about it again.

I guarantee that this is a novel that people will be talking about. I’m predicting a wide range of opinions and emotions for it is a novel that induces that sort of reaction in its readers.

So…I implore you to give this book a try. When you do, come back and share your thoughts here. I haven’t seen a lot of prepublication buzz on this one and I’m dying to hear other opinions of this dynamic, truly memorable read. Highly, highly recommended.


9 Comments to "Review: Above by Isla Morley"

  1. Becky's Gravatar Becky
    Twitter: BeckyLeJeune
    March 3, 2014 - 11:40 AM | Permalink

    AGH! My list of to reads is monstrous. I’ve got the e arc of this one and will hopefully have a chance to get to it before it expires. If not, it’ll be on my buy list for sure but no clue when I’ll get to it. Too many great books!

  2. Isla Morley's Gravatar Isla Morley
    March 3, 2014 - 1:39 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for this rave review, Jenn! Your support of this story is much appreciated.

  3. March 3, 2014 - 2:23 PM | Permalink

    I will have to check this out!

  4. Anita's Gravatar Anita
    Twitter: anitalovesbooks
    March 3, 2014 - 2:58 PM | Permalink

    I skimmed this…I want to read for myself….and I shall…very soon!

  5. Kari's Gravatar Kari
    Twitter: alas3lads
    March 4, 2014 - 8:40 AM | Permalink

    I just requested this from our library. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Beverly S's Gravatar Beverly S
    March 4, 2014 - 3:16 PM | Permalink

    I read Above a few weeks ago. I read it in a couple of days because I
    couldn’t put it down. :) It certainly has a lot of twists and turns. :)
    Glad to see someone else enjoyed it too….thanks for your review of it.

  7. March 4, 2014 - 5:04 PM | Permalink

    Well, now I need to read this. Awesome review!

  8. March 5, 2014 - 8:36 AM | Permalink

    Will definitely check this one out with your strong recommendation. Love the cover, too.

  9. March 5, 2014 - 3:02 PM | Permalink

    This one sounds quite scary, but hopefully there’s redemption!

Comments are closed.