Seriously, you need to read this book. It’s engaging from page one, and you grow to adore the characters. It’s a well-written, smart take on the always popular YA dystopian genre, but then there’s this twist a little more than halfway through where all of a sudden you’re reading something you’ve never read before, and it’s wild and brilliant. I don’t want to give it away, but let’s just say that this is a book that doesn’t water anything down for a younger audience, and it treats its readers with a ton of respect.
While technically YA, I can’t think of many adults who wouldn’t enjoy this just as much, if not more. It’s a page turner, yet far from hollow entertainment. There are themes that you want to ponder, but you almost have to save all that for later because the plot moves along at a breakneck speed, because you just want to find out what happens next.
So many twists and mysteries and revelations, all doled out in near flawless pacing.
I’m still thinking about it. I want to talk to people about it. So read it, will you? Also, this is book one in a series, so the second book can’t get here soon enough. Definitely give The Threat Below a try – you won’t regret it.
Here’s What Several Reviewers Had To Say:
I am an adult but I really enjoy the YA genre. I find that sometimes writing geared towards younger audiences tends to be a bit condescending and completely unrealistic of how a teenager would think or speak. Not so with this author. This book is intelligently written and the characters are well developed. Although Mr. Latshaw is an adult male, he really seems to understand the female teenage mind. I Love this book and I cannot wait to read more from him.
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To me, stories are really about characters, first and foremost. The plot is the light that shines on the characters and reveals their shape and features. Some writers use tools so fine to shape their characters that there is amazing detail, but no depth. Others are so blunt in their sculpting that the characters are easy to understand, but lack nuance and relatability. Latshaw has struck a really good balance, in my opinion. There’s no excessive detail to drag the story out unnecessarily, and we learn enough about each character to understand where they are coming from and to find them relatable. The story moves at a good pace, and I found it difficult to stop reading each time I started.
One other point – I’m not familiar with this publisher, but as a Kindle/Prime customer, a lot of books from unfamiliar publishers and authors cross my path. I’ve purchased more than a few, and I’ve been disappointed more often than not. So many of these books are horribly written and/or edited. This is NOT the case with The Threat Below. The writing is top notch, and it reads quite as well as any big publisher’s novel. I’m very much looking forward to Book 2.
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In the spirit of full disclosure, I personally know this Latshaw fellow. This does not, however, hamper my ability to also know a good plot when I see it. To engage and empathize with characters. To feel wonder/anger/fear coming through a printed page (digital page? get over it). If anything, it makes me more critical; knowing someone means that somehow I feel more invested in the quality of their work than I would in regards to that of a stranger.
That being said, The Threat Below does exactly what any good fairytale should do (I use the word fairytale as a compliment). That is, it takes a normal character in the accepted world (insofar as the Kith is ‘normal’, then Ice is as well) and quickly and decisively places them in circumstances beyond their control and understanding—and simply lets the story unfold. Jason creates a wonderfully perilous world, fills it with clever (and snarky) characters, and then lets go and allows them to roam. You get the feeling that as the author, he is frantically chasing characters in order to simply record their actions; that is, they are not players reading a script. Rather fun. The microcosm of the Mountaintop community is a brilliant storytelling device; it at once allows a safe and contained space in which to establish a plot, while simultaneously hinting at a much larger, more mysterious world just beyond its boundaries. It evokes the feeling that you are a three foot tall child in a room where the windows are just four feet above the floor—and you are frantically searching for a step stool. Curiosity and anticipation. Yes, this is technically a book written for the younger crowd—it will no doubt delight such readers—however, its themes easily span arbitrary age boundaries. Loved it.