So this one took me a while, but it was on the back burner for a bit. Now I’m finished and ready to share it with you! Here’s the pretty awesome cover:
The Park Service by Ryan Winfield is the first of the Park Service trilogy. This book hooked me right away, but I ended up with some mixed feelings about it–though the end definitely left me wanting more.
The Jist: 16 year old Aubrey lives underground, believing that the surface of Earth is uninhabitable, until a train crash brings him above ground. He finds Earth is paradise, his life has been a lie, and someone is killing off the surviving humans on the surface.
The Good: The imagery and descriptions are very beautiful and detailed. There are some really exciting scenes as well. By the end of the prologue, I was hooked. Winfield has created a very thought-provoking, if disturbing, world. I am interested to see where he will take this next.
The Not-So-Good: I found the protagonist Aubrey a little flat. He’s not bad, just nothing to really give him life or make me attached to him–more of a plot drives character book. Also, I think this was stretched for a trilogy and there were parts where nothing interesting seemed to happen–pages of description of nature–and slow plot, and I found myself bored for most of the middle third. I pushed through though, and the end was worth it.
My Favorite Part: Aubrey’s slang-talking, wild native best friend Jimmy and their pet fox cub, Junior. I also enjoyed Hannah, the love interest, though I’d love to see her developed more.
The Verdict: There are some elements here that felt flat–another dystopian, the protagonist, and the romance–but Winfield has created an interesting, haunting post-apocalyptic Earth, and the end has me wanting the next book by yesterday.