The sequel to the previously reviewed The Line (and part of The Line Trilogy), we’re reintroduced to the world of The Line and Rachel herself. After crossing The Line, Rachel finds herself ‘Away’. She’s welcomed into the world of The Others and the boy called Pathik. Searching for her missing father, Rachel tries to adapt to the curious and unknown world of beyond The Line. Adapting to her new circumstances is essential, even though the residents of the village all have strange powers, along with stranger creatures wandering the land.
As is wont with the human condition, scandal, intrigue, and conspiracies proceed to occur. While the story, plot, and world are all excellent, the writing is at times too simplistic. It almost feels like a waste to have this fantastic world and not enjoy it to its fullest potential. Away weighs in at a slim 242 pages, which could easily have been 700 with the source material and the world that Hall has created for Rachel to live in. But this review isn’t about the wasted potential of this series. Away is an enjoyable read – you can pass a couple of hours pleasurably by quickly zipping through this installment in the trilogy.
With the prose lacking complexity, we’re not left with much to enjoy from the story apart from the straightforward plot itself. There are some twists, some turns, and a mild cliffhanger to wet our whistle for the final installment of the trilogy. Additionally, due to the simplistic writing, the pace of the story begins slowly then speeds up to breakneck speed, with frenetic twists and turns throughout the last half of the book. While not quite a full thriller from cover to cover, it’s pretty close to that genre – and really is more of a hybrid entry into YA literature. It’s still a dystopian trilogy, but done a bit differently than others. The closest comparisons in recent publications would be Justin Cronin’s The Passage trilogy and the recent Relic by Heather Terrell if you’re looking for something else to compare Away to.
It doesn’t seem like The Line has found very many fans, but Away has recently been published in paperback through Amazon’s CreateSpace publishing program. The concluding volume in the trilogy – The Island (978-1494498344) has recently been published on 17 December 2013, via the CreateSpace program. I’m not sure why the final volume had to be released via CreateSpace, but the first two volumes were published via traditional publishers. There’s a variety of reasons why the author self-published the final volume, but in any case – I won’t speculate apart from commenting that it’s wonderful that the trilogy is fully published and available for readers, no matter how it was produced.
If you’re looking for another trilogy to read, Away has proven that the entire world of The Line is sufficient to entertain any young YA-thriller seeking reader. I wouldn’t put too much stock into the complete trilogy being good for more than a couple of re-reads, but for today’s book landscape, anything worthy of a reread is good enough. This is.
Overall grade – C
Edition: Dial, First Edition (September 15, 2011)
Binding: Hardcover with dustjacket
Page Count: 240