Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Line

Title: The Line
Author: Teri Hall
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Page Count: 219
Why I read it: sounded good
Grade: D+

 An invisible, uncrossable physical barrier encloses the Unified States. The Line is the part of the border that lopped off part of the country, dooming the inhabitants to an unknown fate when the enemy used a banned weapon. It’s said that bizarre creatures and superhumans live on the other side, in Away. Nobody except tough old Ms. Moore would ever live next to the Line.
Nobody but Rachel and her mother, who went to live there after Rachel’s dad died in the last war. It’s a safe, quiet life. Until Rachel finds a mysterious recorded message that can only have come from Away. The voice is asking for help.
Who sent the message? Why is her mother so protective? And to what lengths is Rachel willing to go in order to do what she thinks is right?

My review:
This one started out painfully slow.  When I stop reading just so I can roll my eyes, it's never a good sign.  There is so much world building, and so little dialogue that it was hard to keep reading.  And the dialogue that was there was just more world building.  Things picked up slightly around page 80, but for the size of this book, that just wasn't quite good enough.

I need a better balance of action, dialogue, and narration in my books, so this one didn't satisfy.  The action was all packed in to the last 50 pages or so, and the whole book was just so uneven.  Not only that, the ending is so abrupt that it feels like there should probably be another couple hundred pages.  It's the first of a series, so that's why, but I'm not at all a fan of any series that is really just one long book.

The plot is intriguing, though, and the idea for the story is a good one.  It just wasn't executed as well as I would have liked.  The characters lacked depth, and suffered in the face of all the world building.  Did I mention there was a lot of world building?  All this being said, I will probably read the next in the series.  The author has potential, even if the writing felt a bit amateur, and I feel like the series can only go up from here.  All in all, I'm not sure I would recommend this one.


  1. Hmmm, I just picked this one up from the library. The plot sounds interesting, but I love a lot of dialogue in my books. I'll have to give it a 50 page test. Good review!

  2. The plot sounded really good to me, too. It's a fairly short book, so I figured I'd finish it, even though I normally would have given up. The second half is a lot better than the first half, so if you can make it through the first half of the book, you might as well keep going.