Return of the Continuums

Turner. 432 pages. $36.95.

Jennifer Brody does it again with her imaginative dystopian young adult fiction follow-up to “The 13th Continuum,” which was released earlier this year. Myra Jackson and Aero Wright are back, but this time they’re on the surface of the post Doom earth trying to find their way back to the First Continuum and the salvation of their people. Accompanied by their friends, Myra must beat time in order to save her continuum and Aero must outrun the Supreme General of the Second Continuum, who believes Aero to be a deserter.

Along the way, Myra and her band of survivors come across a peculiar creature from the Seventh Continuum, a place submerged in total darkness after a radioactive incident killed most of the populace. Along with the new character come new points of view. In Brody’s first installment of this trilogy, Myra and Aero were the only ones the reader heard from. However, in her second novel, the reader gets a look through the eyes of the new character from the Seventh Continuum and Myra’s father, Jonah, who is still residing in the Thirteenth Continuum.

These characters’ points of view add dimension to an already multifaceted story, and once again, I could not put this book down. The characters’ struggle for survival echoes classics such as “Lord of the Flies” and “Heart of Darkness,” which becomes apparent when Myra and her crew travel down into the depths of the Earth to visit the Seventh Continuum. The aspects of this novel are many: character arc, plot, conflict and tone are especially strong and beautiful. Every world comes alive through great description and characters’ interactions within the setting.

Those seeking adventure before the year are out will not be disappointed with Brody’s story of determination, tenacity, friendship and doing the right thing over the easy thing. Another thing I didn’t think could get any better was the inter personal relationships between characters, but not only do they grow more in depth, but they grow more in complexity .

Brody, who is from Roanoke, has a talent for telling a story of dystopian young adult fiction. She just gets it; she understands that readers don’t just want another post-apocalyptic tale of survival, but that the book needs characters that can hold up against the bleak and hopeless setting, turning it from nothing to something that is full of life and hopeful. It’s the characters that bring completeness to this novel.

Those who were fans of the first installment of “The Continuum Trilogy” will definitely be fans of the second book, no question. I recommend this to any reader who is a dystopian junkie like me. Pick up this book and find that you can’t possibly put it down.

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