Under Falling Skies by Kate MacLeod {The Travels of Scout Shannon; 1}

“I have never been more WRONG about my assumption of a book in my entire life…Not necessarily a bad thing, this book was just so different from what I expected to read!”

Review by Rayleigh Setser

Scout Shannon’s whole family died the day the Space Farers dropped an asteroid on their domed city. Now she lives alone, out in the wild with only her dogs for company. She prefers it that way.

But Scout finds herself at a crossroads. One road leads back to a quiet life snug under the protective dome of a city. The other road leads to a life in the rebellion, a life of adventure and excitement but also danger. Dare she try to find the rebels hiding in the hills?

Then a chance encounter with a stranger from the other side of the galaxy threatens to derail what remains of Scout’s life. The entire galaxy awaits her, if she survives the next four days.

“Under Falling Skies”, a young adult science fiction novel, set on a remote planet with a distinctly Old West feel. For fans of gunslinging women and young girl assassins. And dogs.

Release Date: 12/13/2017

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 188

I have never been more WRONG about my assumption of a book in my entire life...Not necessarily a bad thing, this book was just so different from what I expected to read! 

Under Falling Skies was a "free for a day" book that popped up on my BookBub email, and after a quick read of the blurb and study of the cover, I expected this to be a "cute sci-fi adventure". *Laughs nervously*. Dude. This was a weird mesh of "Five Nights at Freddie's" and "Among Us" (yes, I compare books to video games....it's a problem). I'm still glancing over my shoulder and squealing when the lights go out.

I don't want to spoil the entire plot, so I'm not going to talk about my reactions at all, but suffice it to say that this was a nail-biting adventure that had my attention completely. The plot moves very fast, but I was thankful for that because I never found myself speed-reading to get to the next exciting bit, there was just always something going on. Scout was a likeable main character and I really liked her and her dogs!

The issue I had with this book is more in line with logistics rather than actual storytelling. I really don't know what audience it is originally intended for. All of the information I can find online say "teen", it looks like a "teen" book, and it's short like one would expect of a teen book (I, personally, guessed 13-14ish when I started it, maybe even mature 12s). But there is no way I would give this book to the younger spectrum of teen readers without a warning for horror elements and gore. Obviously, this is going to be widely dependent on individual readers (and parents/guardians), but I would say that this book fits better in the upper teen/YA category. But again, that is going to depend on individual readers. There is no cursing, however.

Overall, I liked the book--shock in all--but I'm having difficulty saying that I "loved" it. On one hand it felt very young but on the other hand it also felt mature, so regardless of which way I look at it, I feel like something is missing either way to really hit it home for me. But, if you enjoy spooks and very mild horror elements (I wouldn't put it in the horror genre, however), you may enjoy Under Falling Skies!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Content Ratings:

Action & Gore:

Rating: 8 out of 10.
8. Intense action (while not frequent or overly detailed, action takes a morbid turn here with abnormal deaths meant to shock/horrify reader). 

Romance & Spice:

Rating: 0 out of 10.
0. None.

Cursing & Vulgarity:

Rating: 1 out of 10.
1. Infrequent substitute cursing (less than 10 "craps" etc. and/or book specific words).

Other Trigger/Content Notices:

Content disclaimers: Horror & gore semi-detailed. Deaths are meant to horrify the reader and are described briefly but with detail. Two women are described as being “lovers”, however, there is no on-page romance.

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