Immurement (The Undergrounders #1) by Norma Hinkens
It is the year 2069, six years after the Earth’s core overheated, causing a meltdown. In the Sawtooth Forest of central Idaho, a group of survivors has formed an underground community which is split up between 8 bunkers that are connected by a shared tunnel. These are the Undergrounders.
Derry Connelly is 16 years old and she lives in one of these bunkers with 23 other survivors. Her mother died on the day of the meltdown and her father is the camp drunk who hasn’t been able to cope since. There is also her older brother, Owen, 18 years old. Owen has become a master hustler and a leader among those who keep the bunker running smoothly. Rounding out the family is Derry’s trusty dog. She doesn’t go anywhere without her collie, Tucker. One of the other people of importance in Derry’s life is Jakob Miller, her boyfriend. Jakob’s the same age and hails from a clan of Separatists aka Septites. The Septites are a non-violent religious sect who also reside in the underground bunkers. They are sure not to approve of the relationship between Derry and Jakob. Then there is Big Ed who is Derry’s closest friend. Big Ed is a mountain man with a troubled past. He moved off the grid decades ago; after the one world government with its sovereign leader was formed to supposedly tackle global warming. Mason is a recent newcomer among them, an ex-military man who seems to be hiding something. Derry doesn’t trust him.
The Undergrounders spend their nights hunting and scavenging and their nights in the underground bunkers hiding from the Sweepers. The Sweepers are those who come in eerily silent ships that hover over the mountains and suck people up inside, never to be seen again. They aren’t sure who or what the Sweepers are but they are sure they don’t want to find out. With the most recent disappearance haunting them, tensions are beginning to escalate among the Undergrounders. There are rumors of a snitch among them who is selling them out to the Sweepers. Soon Owen and Jakob have disappeared and it is feared that they have been taken by the Sweepers too. Derry feels she has no other choice… accompanied by Big Ed and Mason, she leaves the bunkers and sets out to find Owen and Jakob.
On their journey into the unknown, this small group will confront a great deal of danger, many unwelcome realities and possibly the final end of mankind. At a tender age, Derry has already been through some pretty tough losses. Now she will grow aware that there are many other fears to face down. She will need to examine her conceptions of good versus evil and she will struggle with her choices in a world where all this exists.
This is a well-written and fast-paced read featuring everything from rogue killers to mad scientists. If you read a lot of dystopia, you might wonder if this is just another blip on the radar. I know I did at first. No worries, this book turns out to be a great action-packed adventure with some unexpected twists. It crosses many genres and is sure to appeal to a wide audience from young adult to old. I really enjoyed the story and I’m looking forward to reading the second book.
Immurement is billed as the first book in a young adult dystopian trilogy and it is the 1st place Winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Fiction 2016.
I want to thank the author, Norma Hinkens for providing me with a copy of her book. This is a fair and honest review.