by A.M. Harte
Genre: Fantasy (Of the vampire, werewolf & etc. variety)
In short, I really enjoyed this book.
Ever wonder what it’d be like to grow up without seeing the sky? That’s the reality for humans in the post-apocalyptic underground world of Above Ground. (And, yes, I DID feel claustrophobic just reading about it…) Above Ground is the story of friends Lilith and Emma’s first trip to the surface where “the infected” – vampires, shape shifters, witches etc. (and I do mean, ETC!) – are in charge. Things don’t exactly go smoothly. Separated, confused and scared, the girls needs to get home without stepping on the wrong toes (or paws, or claws…)
As a hardcore vampire/werewolf/all-things-magic fan who’s gotten a bit jaded and bored with the same old, same old, I really enjoyed the NEW take in Above Ground. Tails, scales, and unexpected hues dot the landscape of the infected’s city, as a whole host of non-human residents vie for survival and avoid city’s heart, where the mysterious Witches Protection League holds sway.
Above Ground is truly an other-world: here, it’s not the vampires and werewolves who are the anomaly. It’s the humans. And it’s not just your usual fangs and fur, stock-characters either. A whole slew of NEW species make appearances with quirky personalities to match. For example……. BATS:
“…It hobbled awkwardly towards her, claws scraping the floor. Short, dark fur covered its face. The features were those of an animal: long snout, black button nose, and curved leathery ears. The torso, however—ignoring the covering of fur—was unsettlingly human. It stopped right in front of her and Lilith tensed, unsure whether to lash out or escape.
The bat cocked its head to the side and yapped several times, ears flicking back and forth. “Not dangerous,” it pronounced to the room. “Cub.” But it didn’t look away, and now the other bats were shuffling restlessly. What did these bats eat?
Lilith slid her hand along the wall, towards the door handle. “I’ll just go now. Sorry for bothering you.”
The bat bared its teeth. “Stay?”
The chant was taken up by the others. “Stay! Stay! Stay!”
The bat waved a wing and the others fell silent. It shuffled closer, relishing the attention. “Stay. Pay.”
Another step closer.
“Blood. Pay.” Its mouth hung open, the fangs gleaming white against a bright red tongue.
The other bats were nodding in agreement, ruffling their wings, preparing for flight. “Blood!”
Her hand closed around the door handle….”
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