Self published in America in September 2016.
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How I got this book:
Received a review copy through Beck Valley Books Book Tours. I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Like everyone else in the world, Mia Bryn lives in the dark. Buried in an underground compound, her life is spent in brief allotments of florescent light and dwindling food supplies. But when a letter arrives, Mia and her father are invited to embark on a journey that no one else has been allowed to take for over a hundred years. They are asked to leave the ground and travel into the air. But the outside world is more surprising and dangerous than Mia could have ever imagined. To survive, she must trust her instincts, learn about a world she knows nothing about, and accept her destiny.
If you read my Shadow Reaper review yesterday, you will have seen me recommend this novel to Amos Cassidy fans and, if you love their writing, I'd urge you to give A K Downing a try! Into The Air is energetic young adult adventure set in a vividly portrayed post-apocalyptic world. I loved the idea of the underground Compounds and appreciated Downing's contrasting of their drab greyness with the overwhelming colours Mia encounters outside.
I thought the first few chapters jumped too swiftly through Mia's receipt of an all-important letter to her emergence into fresh air. Her journey to the City is well-portrayed, but everything had moved so fast that I didn't understand events when we got there and felt that it wasn't until just past this point that Downing really settled into her pace. Mia is a fascinating character and I was interested to watch her grow as a person from the self-centred brat of the Compound to an assured young woman. I certainly didn't like Mia initially, but grew to respect her as her story progressed. Her will-they-won't-they relationship with her guide-guard Archer kept me on tenterhooks and I think all the main characters felt real.
I liked that we gain some understanding of this world's political shenanigans, but are never bogged down with too much dry detail. Into The Air is primarily a journey novel, both in a physical and an emotional coming-of-age sense. Mia's observations reminded me of how I experience new environments while hiking so these aspects felt authentic to me, even though Downing's world is far removed from most of our own. Frequent proofreading errors, mostly homophones, did distract me from the story's atmosphere which was irritating, however I still very much enjoyed Into The Air and would happily get myself a copy of its sequel should there be one.
“There’s a new star in the Young Adult firmament—A. K. Downing’s series, beginning with Into The Air, is sure to be a reader favorite right up there with The Hunger Games and The 100 trilogy.” Richard Snodgrass , Author of There’s Something in the Back Yard
WHAT IF YOU ENTERED A WORLD YOU DIDN'T KNOW
“Did you ever feel so lost that you didn’t know if the ground was above your head or below your feet?”
A. K. Downing is the author of the young adult, adventure novel Into the Air. She grew up in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania and spent her summers exploring the fields, woods and orchards of her grandparents' farm. She studied graphic design at Kent State University and currently works as a Creative Director. She enjoys history, camping, and walking through fields of tall grass, and feels there is no better way to see the world than from the top of a horse. She currently lives in the woods with her husband, daughter, two cats and five chickens. Into the Air is her first novel.
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