The 13th Continuum: One thousand years after a cataclysmic event leaves humanity on the brink of extinction, the survivors take refuge in continuums designed to sustain the human race until repopulation of Earth becomes possible. Against this backdrop, a group of young friends in the underwater Thirteenth Continuum dream about life outside their totalitarian existence, an idea that has been outlawed for centuries. When a shocking discovery turns the dream into a reality, they must decide if they will risk their own extinction to experience something no one has for generations, the Surface. – Goodreads
The 13th Continuum Review
The 13th Continuum takes the young adult dystopian in a new direction. It gives us a world where some humanity at least knew that the end was coming ahead of time. It knew and did not put all their hopes in one basket. Instead they stashed groups of humans in different locations to give the best chance of survival.
The contrast between the two main groups of survivors (oceans, space) is interesting. The technology displayed by those sailing the skies is imaginative and feels appropriate to the setting(and let’s be honest – just plain cool!). Whereas the tight control, via religious elements, imparts a crushing, no-hope feeling for those trapped under the oceans. I loved that the author could give us two clearly defined situations that managed to make the book feel (at times) not so much a young adult dystopian as it was a speculative science fiction read.
For a debut work, The 13th Continuum is great. You could tell that the author knew exactly where she wanted to go. She did a great job of giving you insight into both colonies. She allowed you to sympathize with the main characters. There are ideas introduced that relate to the real world, and give readers something to dwell on. For example: How easily society is controlled by misdirection.
However, the beginning, where you need to hook the readers and draw them into the story, is a bit too bogged down. It feels like the information that was dumped on the reader could have been worked into the story a bit better. I found it too easy to read just a few pages and then find my attention drawn to something else. By the time I’d reached the halfway mark in the book, whilst I was mildly interested in what I was reading, I wasn’t truly engaged. And, unfortunately, if you haven’t hooked your reader by that point, it doesn’t really matter how great the ending is – it still isn’t going to be a read they can enthuse about. Regardless, I’ll be looking forward to seeing what this author does in the future now that the first book is out-of-the-way and she can begin refining her skills and writing style.
Overall, The 13th Continuum isn’t a book I can highly recommend, personally, but I can see where many other readers would enjoy it. Especially those in the age range the book is intended for. I’d recommend giving it a try, but definitely a ‘try before you buy’ situation. On the other hand, if you’re a dystopian-crazed reader, hey, it’s perfect for your collection! You can get it now on Amazon if needs must!