20 February 2013

Book Tour Review: Terra (Terrestrials #1) by Gretchen Powell

Terra (Terrestrials #1) by Gretchen Powell

Title: Terra (Terrestrials #1)
Author: Gretchen Powell
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian SciFi
Published: December 12th 2012 
Published by: Hopewell Media (first published December 10th 2012)
A broken and desolate Earth. A young girl simply trying 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. 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.

The first book in debut author Gretchen Powell's anticipated Terrestrials series, Terra catapults you through a story filled with blood-pumping action, intrigue, and surprising twists that will wrench and warm your heart. As the hidden truths of this world unfold, the new dangers looming on the horizon are sure to leave you waiting breathlessly for the sequel.

(Mild language; recommended for ages 12+)


The crunch of multiple footsteps sounds in my ears, and I know the unseen speaker is not alone. With achingly slow speed, I bend my knees to pick up my bag and pivot in the direction of the voice.

Three huge men stand about a yard in front of me, lined up in a row. All three of them sport shaved heads, making them almost indistinguishable from one another, save for their differing skin tones. Their long brown coats hang open, revealing bare chests covered with tattoos that creep from below their waistlines all the way up to their chins.


The man in the middle has a chain of thick golden links hanging around his throat. As I watch it bounce against his dark chest, I realize I’ve never actually seen raiders up close before. All that time spent thinking about Lee’s final moments, what his murderers had looked like. Turns out I had it pictured all wrong.

How did I not hear them coming? I always hear them coming.


I'm not going to lie, the first thing I liked about Terra was the pretty cover. The synopsis didn't really do much for me but I decided to give it a try because I love dystopia novels. I'm glad I did though because I enjoyed this book a lot!

What I liked most about this book was the original spin the story took. I don't know how else to describe it without spoilers (honestly there are a lot of things I can't say because of spoilers) but I can say this - it's definitely something. At a time where a lot of young adult dystopia novels are starting to have more or less the same premise, Gretchen Powell was able to fuse an entirely original story with the usual (and essential) overthrow-the-government-let's-revolt plot. I like how creative it all was. It's always nice when an author brings something new to the table.

Aside from that, I liked the overall world-building. It's highly important in dystopia settings to make the world they live in imaginable for readers and I think the author was able to do just that. I liked how everything was described in detail. Furthermore, it was easier for me to grasp the gravity of the crisis because the very system that they lived in was embodied by a definite antagonist. This may not be a big deal for most, but to me it is. Often I find it hard to really get into the story when I don't see a concrete embodiment (i.e. a leader) of the upside down system their world is operating. Now in Terra, even if the antagonist wasn't as visibly notorious (she was equally evil though, trust me) as President Snow of The Hunger Games trilogy, at least there was a villain.

The only thing that hindered me from giving this a 5-star rating were the characters, particularly Terra and Adam. I think separately, they're cool. But together... hmm. I just felt like they needed more time to develop together, you know, to give their relationship/love/whatchamacallit better grounding. I felt that they were fully developed towards the end of the book and it was a little, just a little, late for me. I think if it happened sooner, the insta love would've made more sense.

Overall, Terra gave me what I wanted: a cool and unique plot, (budding) romance, and one hell of a cliffhanger - YES. A cliffhanger (of course). I always look forward to gripping cliffhangers because it ties up the whole experience for me. If an author can leave me hanging then that means I enjoyed the story enough for the cliffhanger to affect me. Terra has a cliffhanger alright! One that'll leave you wondering and annoyed... because you'll have to wait months before book two comes out. The anticipation is killing me. It is driving me nuts not knowing if my theory's right!

So if you're looking for your next dystopia read, try this on for size. It'll definitely keep you entertained from start to finish. ;-)

My Rating
(Refer to rating system)

***I received an e-copy of this book for review.***
 This review is based solely on my opinion.

About the author
Gretchen Powell

Gretchen Powell grew up in far-off places. She is 24 years old, half-Chinese, and the owner of two adorable miniature schnauzers. They wear many sweaters.

By day, she types and types (and types and types) for personal, professional, and cathartic purposes.

By night, she binges on episodes of Doctor Who and sleeps fitfully.

Sometime in the mid-afternoon, she writes a blog, called "Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!" about food, fitness, and her life. 

She loves words. And Harry Potter. And especially the words IN Harry Potter.




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