An extraordinary debut urban fantasy about dangers outside and in. Above pulls off that rare trick of being convincing and utterly magical at the same time. - Emma Donoghue, NYT bestselling author of ROOM Leah Bobet’s ABOVE is that rarest of creatures, combining the outspoken honesty of a good first novel with the craft of a seasoned professional. - Elizabeth Bear, Hugo Award-winning author of DUST Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee’s wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the city Above–like Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingers. But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape Above. As Matthew unravels the mystery of Safe’s history and the shadows' attack, he realizes he must find a way to remake his home–not just for himself, but for Ariel, who needs him more than ever before. ABOVE is the debut of an amazing new voice.
Safe is a secret community underground where freaks and outcasts are safe from persecution by the Whitecoats, who want to do tests on them and keep them locked up. But Safe is no longer a haven when it is invaded by mad Corner and his crew of shadows. Safe’s leader is killed and the survivors escape to the world known only as Above, where they must attempt to pass as normal humans.
Matthew was born underground, and looks normal, but his mother had gills and his father had lion’s feet. He has been entrusted with the stories of all the people of Safe, along with responsibility for the traumatised but beautiful shapeshifter, Ariel. How he manages to discover the truth about his beloved Ariel and uncover the stories of Safe is a strange, unique, but highly engaging story.
Above is an unusual book suitable for readers 12 and up.
Angela Crocombe is the Children’s Book Buyer at Readings St Kilda, mother to a three year-old, and the author of two books on sustainable living, A Lighter Footprint: A Practical Guide to Minimising your Impact on the Planet and Ethical Eating.
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