Orion is a Subpar, expected to mine the tunnels of Outpost Five, near the deadly flash curtain. For generations, her people have chased cirium—the only element that can shield humanity from the curtain’s radioactive particles. She and her caving partner Dram work the most treacherous tunnel, fighting past flash bats and tunnel gulls, in hopes of mining enough cirium to earn their way into the protected city.
But when newcomers arrive at Outpost Five, Orion uncovers disturbing revelations that make her question everything she thought she knew about life on both sides of the cirium shield. As conditions at the outpost grow increasingly dangerous, it’s up to Orion to forge a way past the flashfall, beyond all boundaries, beyond the world as she knows it.
My review: Crushing oppression, sci fi adventure with a hint of magic, weird geology, terrifying creatures, and an entire planet that is trying to kill you? What's not to love?
I had a lot of fun reading FLASHFALL, even though it's the kind of sci fi post-cataclysm adventure that's about a world that's been wrecked and all manner of terrible things happening to people who really don't deserve it, which doesn't sound fun AT ALL, but there's so much action it works out. The world-building is delightfully nasty and imaginative--there are critters that make my skin crawl!--and there are constant obstacles thrown up every time our beloved characters make any progress.
But I was rooting for them! Especially Orion, who is so determined to kind a better life for herself and her loved ones, even in the face of a system that is rigged to defeat her at every turn.
All in all a really enjoyable sci fi (with a bit of weirdness that may or may not be magic) book that takes place in a world I find endlessly fascinating but absolutely do not ever want to visit under any circumstances. EVER.