Author: Isla Morley
No. of Pages: 384
Genre: Fantasy; Thriller
Origins: On loan from a friend
Release Date: 4 March 2014
Bottom Line: Realistically infuriating and tragic but a bit over-the-top
“Blythe Hallowell is sixteen when she is abducted by a survivalist and locked away in an abandoned missile silo in Eudora, Kansas. At first, she focuses frantically on finding a way out, until the harrowing truth of her new existence settles in—the crushing loneliness, the terrifying madness of a captor who believes he is saving her from the end of the world, and the persistent temptation to give up. But nothing prepares Blythe for the burden of raising a child in confinement. Determined to give the boy everything she has lost, she pushes aside the truth about a world he may never see for a myth that just might give meaning to their lives below ground. Years later, their lives are ambushed by an event at once promising and devastating. As Blythe’s dream of going home hangs in the balance, she faces the ultimate choice—between survival and freedom.”
Thoughts: Above is not a typical abduction novel. It veers into the dystopian realm towards the end, forcing a reader to reevaluate one’s feelings about Blythe and her entire captivity. In spite of this though, the dichotomy between the strong feelings of loathing and terror one feels on Blythe’s behalf in the beginning and the shock once she takes action and faces her future never quite equalize. It is as if a reader is now numb to any changes or plot twists because of everything she experiences in the silo. Ms. Morley does an excellent job emphasizing the mental issues at play from enforced captivity, and Blythe’s fears are all too real. Unfortunately, once Blythe obtains a modicum of freedom, the story unravels and falls flat. The real world is almost boring compared to the psychological trauma of decades-long captivity.