The Underground Book Readers: The Secret Society
Independently Published (2022)
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (01/2023)
“The Underground Book Readers: The Secret Society” is a sprawling dystopian YA novel set in the year 2031. The World Force, a military totalitarian group, has taken over the United States and turned the country upside down, requiring complete subservience from its citizens. The organization banned the reading of any books and Bibles and also outlawed attendance at churches and schools. In a secluded underground tunnel deep into the mountains of Virginia, four orphaned teenagers, Kahn, Jairus, Asher, and Casey, originally members of a Secret Society group, have been meeting secretly for several years.
There within the calcites and flowstones of the cave, they commune together, pray and read the Bible eventually creating a bond stronger than most families. They manage to collect lost books and read them together, clues and tools that could help them in the future. During a precarious and worrisome period, constant rumors of spies and enemies solidly ring in their ears and their loyalty is one day tested when an outsider follows Kahn to the secret cavern with hopes to be part of the society. How long can the group manage to hide from the World Force organization? Are there others like them who would help create a bigger community? Can they make a better life for everyone?
Terry Overton is a deft storyteller. Every word and every sentence rings true and holds the attention of a reader on every page. Vividly described and imagined, the text ping pongs at an even pace allowing readers to take in the sceneries that the book describes- a futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control is maintained with the illusion of a perfect society. Destined to captivate young readers and adults alike, “The Underground Book Readers: The Secret Society” will ignite the love for reading.
The protagonists have admirable personalities. Their love, compassion, and allegiance will motivate young teens to emulate their character in these modern and uncertain times. Storytelling is as old as time itself, and it’s not only for pure escapist entertainment but also to pass essential truths, knowledge, and wisdom. Here, the author has succeeded in this by embedding an important message in an enjoyable story. Taut as a rope, Terry Overton offers an unmissable five-star gala rich in notably contemporary energy that will have you swooning in no time.
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