Shell: Surface To Air by Chris Gill Review!

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Title: Shell: Surface To Air
Author: Chris Gill
Release Date: May 15th 2014
Publisher: PRNTD Publishing
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★


Imagine a world where natural light is a distant memory. A world where the day and night system is imitated by the government to help society’s sleeping patterns, and where artificial rain is released to help crops grow. This is the world Red has known for the last decade. 

The United Underworld, or The Shell as it’s dubbed by its inhabitants, is a world that was built along the earth’s seabed in case global disaster ever occurred. So when the meteorite came hurtling towards the planet in 2105, Lord Ivan Spencer and his regime already had everything in place for the people of England to be transported to their new home under the ocean, Subdon. 

Red, a 19-year-old girl with a feisty streak as vibrant as her long fiery locks, feels like the only person in The Shell who distrusts the system. After her father, who had worked for the government for many years himself, mysteriously died when she was nine; she began to ask questions. Then, once she lost her mother on the Day of Judgment after she was accidentally left in the Old World – Red’s questions turned to anger and resentment. 

Questions like: why is the government taking so long rebuilding the New World above the ground? Why are the Authorities never around when you need them, particularly as The Shell has become such a dismal and dangerous place to live? And will she, and the rest of humanity, ever escape the bleakness of The Shell and feel fresh air again? 

In the first part of Chris Gill's debut novel, Shell, we get to know the fiery heroine who yearns for escape. We also meet the people she holds dear to her heart, and the people she doesn’t. We travel through the dark and dingy depths of the United Underworld, experiencing the claustrophobic dystopia that would have anyone yearning for escape, and for the warm rays of sunshine... 

Are you ready to enter The Shell?

My Review: 

Shell: Surface To Air is a dystopia, set in the future where a natural catastrophe happens and the whole population moves underground beneath the ocean in order to survive as a species. All of them are ruled by Lord Ivan Spencer, who is mostly loved and adored but there is a fringe group who plans to overthrow the current government and find out the truth of what is really on the surface. 

There's a central cast of the characters, the main protagonist being Red, who by her name has fiery red hair and believes that the people living underground in seacitites (also called The Shell by the locals) are being lied to by their leader. 

I liked Red. She was an antisocial, grumpy dissenter on the surface, but wasn't a one-note character. She felt real and three dimensional and I liked that her background was explained with flashbacks and I understood her motivation for doing the things she did. She's a fantastic lead character.

The world building was superb without there being infodump in the first twenty pages and it all unfolded seamlessly as the story went along. The cliffhanger is fantastic and the plot moves fast without losing its pace or having unnecessary scenes that slow it down. 

Overall, a really enjoyable story

Check out my interview the author, Chis Gill here.

Thanks for reading! 

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