Between the Bookcovers

Blogging About the Books I Read

Author:  Annie Oldham
Published:  September 26, 2011

Pages:  235

Rating:  4/5 Stars

Description from Goodreads:

The Burn is full of nuclear fallout, roving gangs, anarchy, unreliable plumbing. That's what Terra's father tells her. She has lived her whole life in comfort in a colony at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. She hates it. And she would pay any price to leave. But when Terra finally escapes the colony, she finds out her father is right.

She finds a group of survivors that quickly become friends, and every day with them is a race for survival. When she witnesses and commits unspeakable acts, she has to decide where her loyalty lies: with the colony she despises or The Burn, where every day is filled with nightmares.


I am always looking for a good post apocalyptic book and this one adds another voice to the genre. Set 100 years after the end of WWIII, the story opens with Terra living in an underwater world, The Colony, that was built by her ancestors who sought refuge from a destroyed world above the sea. It is a highly regimented place where everything is planned, down to the number of calories and vitamins you consume each day. As a teen, soon to be an adult, Terra is being encouraged to choose her job in the Colony. She feels like a prisoner here, and longs to see the world above the water, a place that she learned about from a teacher and old books. Another society exists in what is left of America, known as "The Burn". The people who survived the war struggled to build a place where they eked out a meager life. The people in The Burn have heard about underwater colonies, but do not know where they are located and resent those who found a safe place to go when the world fell apart. Terra eventually finds a way to leave her underwater home, paying a high price in order to escape. The book follows her journey as she discovers how difficult life in The Burn can be.

Oldham has done a magnificent job in building an underwater world, as well as a dark, realistic, post-war world where survival is difficult and harsh.  As Terra explores her new world she experiences all of this but also finds moments of happiness and love, showing how the human spirit can deal with adversity. 

The characters are well developed and Terra is a strong girl who makes sacrifices to get what she wants out of life. But her choices are not easy and she struggles with them and questions herself along the way, just like any normal teen who is making their way in the world does. She has to learn how to survive in The Burn, making friends (and enemies) along the way, while always keeping her background as a Colonist a secret.

This was a great read. The story grabbed my attention and kept it throughout the book. I was fascinated by both worlds Oldham built and feel that this is a great read for anyone who enjoys post apocalyptic novels. A sequel is planned for the Fall of 2012, I an anxiously awaiting to continue Tessa's journey. The book is available in print or as an e-book for only .99 on Amazon.

Rating: A great story set in a devastated world, you will enjoy this one.

About This Blog

I review mostly Young Adult literature, any genre. I also review other fiction, especially horror, science fiction and historical novels. I also have occasional giveaways.