Review: Terra by Gretchen Powell

Terra by Gretchen Powell

Genre: Dystopia, YA, Sci-fi

Published: December 2012 by Hopewell Media

My Rating: 4 thumbs up!


“A broken and desolate Earth. A young girl struggling to survive. A lost boy with a powerful secret.

A discovery that will change everything.

In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth’s population, humanity is split in two: The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn across a dying planet. Eighteen-year-old Terra Rhodon is a terrestrial–a denizen of the barren groundworld–who makes her living as a scav. Long abandoned by her father, her caregivers gone, Terra supports herself and her younger brother, Mica, by scouring the earth for discarded scraps and metals to recycle for profit. One day, while on a routine scavenging run, she discovers something that shocks her home settlement of Genesis X-16. When the value of her discovery is revealed, Terra’s world is turned upside down.

Terra suddenly finds herself asking questions no one will answer. Her search for the truth leads her to Adam–a beguiling skydweller unlike any she has ever met. But Adam has secrets and a quest of his own, and with him by her side, the world Terra thought she knew begins to unravel. Soon her discoveries unearth a terrifying conspiracy that has the potential to shatter everything–a revelation that will test the bonds of loyalty, family, and love.”

From Goodreads


My Thoughts

Um, why have I not heard of this book before? Why are there only like, 100 other reviews of this book on GR? WHY ARE PEOPLE NOT READING TERRA!

This book IS SO GOOD! It is 1000x better than some of the books that make it big, so why hasn’t this one?

Terra is a Terrestrial, otherwise known as a person with brown eyes who lives on the dying earth. This dystopia follows Terra after she discovers something unusual that gives her a giant pay out. One of my favourite things about Terra is the original version of a dystopian. It includes a hierarchy of highly wasteful, snobby, smart and privileged skydwellers and the poorly terraestials who scavenge and recycle goods on the ground to survive. Not to mention a new story about how civilization today came to be, including a plague and falling cities. I also like how the story includes an element of sci-fi, though it’s discreet.

Terra’s discovery leads her to meet the unusual Adam – Mr good mannered and charming who saves her life more than once. Cliché , yes, but Adam is highly secretive, hooking me in almost automatically. The mystery that follows Adam’s background is revealed towards the end, and I can tell you know that I was not expecting it whatsoever. I was shocked at the revelations, just as much as Terra which made it very real in my eyes. I love how Powell was able to surprise me.

I also like the characterizations in Terra. It takes some time but I eventually get a feel for each character. I understand Terra and her blunt need to survive and look after Mica. I understand her urge no to trust or be dependent. I understand Mica’s urge to have fun and be a kid. I understand Adam’s urge to protect, discover and dig. I also think that the author has given the book the perfect amount of important characters and side characters – making sure that the side characters were not overly developed and energy was spent more so on Terra, Mica and Adam.

Despite good development of characters, I wasn’t too convinced of the romance between Adam and Terra. It definitely wasn’t insta-love, but it didn’t feel real or had much depth. I feel like something could have been added to really solidify and strengthen this connection to make it feel more realistic.

What did feel real, though, was the world we were shoved in. Powell is very artful in that she shows more than she tells. I had such a strong sense of the world Terra lived in and her life from the very beginning. I warn people that it does instantly immerse you in strange terms – I do not have a problem with adjusting to this, though I’m aware some readers hate being confused at the beginning.

As well as her world building, I like Powell’s writing style. It’s very clear and concise, yet she uses description to its full ability. I just adore this. It’s like she has combined my two favourite writing styles together into this beautiful caramel chocolate mud cake. I could just eat it up alllll day.

I’m still shocked that this book has not gained more publicity. It is really that good. The gorgeous writing style, original world, easy world building and developed characters. The plot is also easy to follow, though is still filled with twists and surprises. Weak romance aside, Terra is a book I would, I will, recommend to every body!

4 thumbs up


2 thoughts on “Review: Terra by Gretchen Powell

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