Thursday, March 25, 2010

Review: The Line by Teri Hall

I just finished The Line and it was not half bad. Of course, that means it was not half good either. Rachel and her mother live/work on the property of an older single woman. Much is made of the fact that Rachel's mom felt the need to stay hidden and out of the cities because of rumors that surrounded Rachel's father when she was a baby.
I liked Hall's voice, but her writing style was very simplistic. Perfect for a reluctant reader, or a fan of Haddox's Hidden books, this is obviously a set up for a series as not much happens until the last twenty pages.
Some issues I had with the book concern the world building which seemed generic and incomplete. Rachel uses items that have funky sounding names but that are clearly known items: a flashlight has some cutsey name and pictures are digims or something...but they are not at all different from real flashlights or photographs so why bother? Hall also throws out the rules of the government quickly with very little comparison to how it was before...and then breaks them. Someone suspected of being a rebel is vividly arrested in front of her little girl while Rachel is in town, and yet her own father who was also suspected of being a rebel was just drafted into the army.
On the other side of the Line is another type of human-ones that have weird names like Jab and Pathik and super powers, but who resort to begging at the line for antibiotics.
Overall, it is not a bad book, I hope Hall fine tunes things in the sequel. My concern is that there are soooo many Dystopian books on the market right now that the Line did not cross enough lines in order to stand out, and may end up being completely ignored.

Speaking of Dystopian books, one that just rocks is The Dead-Tossed Waves (sequel to Forest of Hands and Teeth). I could not put that one down, and while it was not as good as the original I still enjoyed the fence smacking zombie action.