Author: Kennedy Plumb
Publication date: November 2021
Genre: YA Dystopian
Length: 410 pages
POV: First person, single POV, present tense
Final rating: ★★★★☆
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Note: this review is spoiler free!
In independently published debut novel Buried we follow Sam and his sister Ella, a sibling duo living in a futuristic dustpan future after world war three happens. Because the world ‘upstairs’ has become unlivable, a bunch of people, including the characters we follow, are forced to live underground in different camps. The characters we follow live in one of the poorest camps out there. They are forced to work for ration points, live in a tiny cabin without a heater and are forced to live under a strict regime. If you don’t listen, you end up dead. But then young children start to disappear, and when Sam’s younger sister Ella ends up getting abducted, he has to embark on a journey to hopefully find her before it’s too late.
I went into this novel after running across it on Netgalley and had zero expectations going in. You could say I was surprised when I ended up really enjoying the book! There is so much to admire here: the world building is phenomenal, so many interesting ideas are integrated into the world and I liked that the world wasn’t so far removed from our own, which made it more believable. Dystopian novels have been done to death and I have read a lot of them. I was afraid that this novel would just borrow from other books in the genre but I didn’t get that idea at all. A lot of the ideas here feel fresh and original.
I also liked that the characters acted their age, especially our main character Sam. It really felt like I was reading about a teenage boy. so often in these novels I feel like I’m really reading about much older people. The way they talk and act often do not fit their ages. Teenagers say and do dumb things sometimes, and they don’t always think things through. This book really felt like I was reading about a character that was about sixteen years old.
The plot was interesting and had moments that I didn’t see coming. My main gripe with the novel is dat I feel like it was a little too long. I think there are some scenes at the beginning and towards the middle that could have been shortened or maybe even cut altogether. It really takes a while for the story to get going and I would have loved for the action to start a little sooner.
As far as the writing goes, I am not really a fan of present tense so I had to get used to that. I also felt like the author was using a lot of telling instead of showing. Although there are some instances in which I prefer telling, I mostly like authors that show us things with the text. But I liked a lot of the dialogue in the book, and the inner turmoil the main character experienced was palpable!
The book ends on a cliffhanger and I’m definitely among those that will check out the second installment when it’s released. If you like this genre, I definitely recommend this book!
Advanced reader copy acquired via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.