Once upon a time we thought El Nino was bad. Katrina and Sandy were recognized as historic storms. Things got worse. The storms grew, and in desperation humanity retreated underground. Now the surface is ravaged by continent sized super-storms called hypercanes that have lasted for decades, and the only things able to survive are amphibious-primate mutants that do not look kindly on humans.
Jansin has only known life underground. Life may be governed by strict rules and limited supplies, but thanks to birth and training, she is among the cream of the crop. She knows that there is no one left alive above ground, no way for anyone to live above ground in the face of the storms and the decimation of civilization they caused. About to graduate from the military academy, her life has direction and she wants to dedicate it to protecting the way of life that keeps humanity alive.
Then on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to the surface her world view is shattered. Jansin must re-evaluate who she is, and what she believes in, risking her life in the process.
I liked this book. Jansin is a competent and self-aware character who grows throughout the story. Additionally, I really appreciate that the relationships aren't instantaneous love, but rather attraction that is allowed to grow and develop. There is a nice balance between technology, intrigue, and pacing. Overall a decent read.
Like most stories there are some plot holes. In particular I have trouble believing that a military organization that relies so strongly on cultural indoctrination would so quickly bring back someone who is clearly traumatized and perhaps even "not in her right mind" (after all, she's claiming those savages on the surface were her friends and is upset that they were killed) without any attempt at therapy beyond the single visit where she throws a bowl of soup at the doctor. However, overall the plot holes more rely on slight incredulity rather than huge glaring "are you kidding me?" moments. The ending does frustrate me, I don't like how it chops off at what feels like just a chapter end, but that "what happens next?" feeling may very well be what the author intended.
Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of Netgalley; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.