My Rating: 3 stars: Liked it - recommend (B)
The prologue of this short story read like a fantastic action movie - the kind that are labeled “summer blockbuster.” I LOVED the concept of dragons coming forth and decimating civilization. This created a post-apocalyptic setting without the usual politcal causes.
Fast-forward several generations and civilization is bleak. Humans and Crossbreeds tribes live in primitive settings built from what is left in the greater-Los Angles area. We don’t have much time to learn about Rhone and his tribe, because right from the beginning he is captured and tortured by rival tribe leader Nyx.
Nyx is simply a cruel, power-hungry Crossbreed. He rules with an iron fist, fostering fear among his own tribe. Ketta, Nyx’s sister (a rare Crossbreed female), is tired of her brother’s evil and believes Rhone was sent to free them all and bring peace. She helps him escape and the pair get help from Ketta’s grandfather, Arwin.
In spite of its shortened length, High Above is packed with action and excitement. It was fairly entertaining throughout, and the romance was passionate. The story had all the moving parts you’d expect - interesting plot, exciting setting, evil bad guy you love to hate, romance, action, and a happy ending. There were no major moral conflicts or overly dramatic moments to incite a deep emotional reaction, although there was one shocking moment that took me by surprise.
Unfortunately, because of its length, I felt there were places in the book that needed more which would have created a more fulfilling story. I wanted to know why Rhone could awaken Daisy (no spoilers here). I would have liked more time to develop the trust between Rhone and Arwin and learn more about Rhone’s history and tribe. However, it is a novella and there just wasn’t space to answer all of my questions.
Overall, this is an enjoyable novella-length fantasy story. It’s perfect for an afternoon getaway from life. I hope that Ms. Freeman expands upon this exciting world in future works.