From the first word Winfield captured my imagination. I was hooked before I would have admitted it. Nuclear holocaust forced the human population unde..Show More »rground for 900 years. Aubrey, our focus, has grownup never knowing sunlight, or any of the things that us top dwellers take for granted.
Having been taught that the surface is unsafe for humans. That there are several levels of the underground, each in charge of a different need of the people. When some one reached the age of fifteen, considered a man, the teens have to take a test. This is to see if they are worthy of going to level one to assist the foundation in their research. In 900 years no one has been chosen, until now.
Aubrey is selected because of the answer to one question. He is sent to level one and this is where The Park Service gets really interesting. The subterranean train crashes, leaving Aubrey for dead. Except he does not die and discovers what has been hidden from everyone for hundreds of years. Quickly he befriends a native boy Jimmy and is shown the wonders of the surface.
The Park Service is an all out epic adventure story that redefined, for me, the true meaning of friendship, love and loss. Winfield made me think in ways that I haven't for a very long time, if ever. I laughed, I cried, I was in awe, I was surprised. I was glued. I cannot wait to get into the rest of the trilogy. Geared towards the young adult crowd or not, this was an grand story written in a style that I love.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.
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The second book in the series is just as engaging and dynamic as the first. There are so many levels to this story. Just when you think you have thing..Show More »s figured out, there will be a sharp turn that takes it to a whole other place! warning, if you are an emotional sort, you will need tissues at one point, maybe two!
Once again was are all first person coming from Aubrey's POV. It is tough to really get a feel for other character's motivations without being told. It does add an element of surprise to the story, as you find out when he does. That aspect really keeps you on your toes.
Aubrey has always been likeable, if a touch of a know it all, and loyal to a fault. He is also far too trusting, by now you think some of the shine would have come off of him. So often he is stuck playing mediator between his friends. It is a tough place to be. I do really enjoy how tight he and Jimmy are and the connection they share. Hannah, is another story, I think she inherited more than a little of her father's sketchy ideals.
The journey they take in this book is fascinating because we see more of what has become of the Earth. How other species had evolved and some humans de-evolved. There are many surprises when they reach the Isle of Man. I wish we could have spent more time there and had more about the relationships that were formed. This would have been a great place to have some narrative from Jimmy. I suspect that would have made later events even more heartbreaking.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Michael Braun, who is wonderful. I really enjoy the distinction between the men's voices, he keeps them consistent throughout. His women's voices are light without trying to be overly feminine. He doesn't go to the whiny upper range, so many male narrators fall into that trap. He has a great pace throughout the read. He adds plenty of energy and emotion to the read. Really a terrific fit, he blend story and narration beautifully.
I am thoroughly enjoying this series and the rare male protagonist in a young adult read. While the story has romantic elements, they are not the driving force of the story. I really wish more YA would take that approach.
What is going to happen next! While we are not at a true cliffhanger, things are far from settled at the end. I can not wait to jump strait into the next book! Thank goodness the whole series is out and there is no waiting!
Disclosure - I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.
I really enjoyed that I was unable to predict what came next. The basis of the story is unique as it is a story about survival, coming of age, compas..Show More »sion, and growth. As a science fiction fan, I have to admit that the non-science fiction components did not take away from the enjoyment of this book.