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Reviewed by Scott Cahan for Readers' Favorite
These days, young adult dystopian novels are a dime a dozen but Shrinking Sinking Land by Kell Cowley has taken the genre in a whole new direction that is both fascinating and fun. The story is set in Great Britain in the not-too-distant-future when violent weather patterns have become the enemy of mankind. The government is sending everyone underground for an enforced six-month hibernation while they do experiments on the atmosphere to get things back to normal. The plot focuses on a ragtag group of people who have no desire to go underground and are suspicious of the motives behind the enforced hibernation. The colorful cast of characters includes Dylan Moon, an internet revolution leader with only a handful of followers, and Flea, a girl from the lower class who is claustrophobic and is ready to fight off anyone who tries to force her to go underground with her trusty umbrella.
I absolutely adored this book. Shrinking Sinking Land has everything a great book should have. Its premise is original and creates a framework that puts our characters in constant suspense. The plot alone deserves a 5-star rating. It moves at a quick pace and never stays in one place for too long. It twists and turns in unexpected directions and kept me guessing right up until the last page. And then there are the characters. Author Kell Cowley has given us one of the most interesting ensemble cast of characters that I've ever read. If you couple that fact with the fast moving plot, you’ll begin to see the genius of this book. Shrinking Sinking Land doesn't slow down the story to tell us about the characters. We learn plenty about them as the action is unfolding and they interact with each other along the way. The characters all have unique personalities complete with back stories, strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. I can’t recommend this book for everyone because it does include some content issues, but I would heartily recommend it for anyone 16 years and up.