Top positive review
Knowing is Amazing
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 3, 2017
There's a lot that goes on beneath the surface (interestingly enough, given the setting of the book) of what's happening in the book. On the face of it, Samara escapes to Old Canaan to find a cure for the Knowing, and Beckett goes there too to [long spoiler alert] find out what happened to the colonists his predecessors sent to this planet, then the three accidentally meet, and are in fact, forced to hide from New Canaan's Council for fear of capture. Then, they embark on a journey back/to New Canaan, each for very different reasons and feelings, thoughts, loyalties, and plans changing a lot along the way. By the time they make it to the Outside settlement on the surface, before they descend Underneath, Samara to hide until she can get into the Archives to maybe find a cure for the Knowing and then give herself up for execution, and possibly Beckett and Jillian too in place of her imprisoned parents, Beckett to discover as much as he can about this people (to heck with the protocol), and Jillian because she's being dragged along, Samara has decided she can't give Beckett in but doesn't know what to do with him, Beckett keeps following (almost blindly) [end long spoiler alert].
It's that undercurrent that carries the first two-thirds of the book: the evolution of both Samara's and Beckett's knowledge about what happened to the people of Old Canaan (i.e. the people of The Forgetting), the actions they take once they learn that, and the feelings that each possesses about each other and the other key characters in the book. The rest is action that happens so fast that it's a little hard to keep up with, and all of that action is in reaction to the complicated discoveries made in the first two-thirds.
As far as stars, I'd give it 9.5 out of 10 just because I feel like there were one or two incidences where Cameron didn't reveal certain things (like the reason for the existence of the Outsider village by the Underneath) until too late in the story, which made it harder to keep up with things. If I were to make a nutrition facts label for this book, I would say that there was no sex, no swearing, a fair amount of violence, and some great descriptions of both valorous and ignoble deeds.
Who Would Like This Book?
Fans of any of Sharon Cameron's other books would obviously like this book, as would those of Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking Series and of Amy Kaufman's and Meagan Spooner's These Broken Stars.