The Earth Dwellers by David Estes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Earth Dwellers is the finale for two linked, but separate storylines. For the Dwellers series, it wraps up Adel and Tristan's adventure, revealing a fourth Realm on the surface. For the Country series, it merges the staggering cast and struggles of the three Countries that survived on the surface.
Little attention is given to developing the characters from each series, but I did like how the book rings true to each one. Like in the books leading up, each chapter is told by one of the characters, using their unique voice to do so, but each chapter is labeled with the narrator's name up front, so you don't have to guess. Not that I think it would be hard to figure it out.
Another thing about this story I liked is how difficult and seemingly impossible the final conflict is and just how thoroughly it's resolved. The level of tension builds quickly and stays at a level that keeps you reading.
Not much attention is given to the established couples either, though Adele and Tristan's relationship seems to have the most focus. The rest seem to be accepted, like Circ and Siena's, or starcrossed, though I won't say which one or ones (no spoilers). Basically, this story wraps things up and doesn't pose any new questions.
Finally, if you're looking for a happily ever after, beware. The body count is huge, and main or favorite characters are not guaranteed any sort of safety. Sure, that makes for an exciting and nervewracking conclusion, but it also left me in a state of shocked disbelief. I kept hoping the narrators were mistaken.
Overall though, I must say I loved this book, my second favorite in the combined series after Fire Country. Folks who love YA Dystopia will likely love this series.
I received a free copy of this book some time ago as a thank you for participation in a blog event. Great book, great series.
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