**WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD**
Not too long ago I posted a video preview for this book. The preview really captured my attention and I was eager to get in to this book.
Dystopian futures are all the rage in sci-fi/fantasy right now, it seems, and Kat Ross’s book plays with the same theme. In our future, a large part of humanity lives underground to avoid the hypercanes (massive hurricanes that cover entire continents). Our protagonist is sixteen year old Jansin Nordqvist. (As someone of Swedish decent, can I say how much I love seeing such a fine Scandinavian name in fiction!) Jansin is about to graduate from her military training – she is one of the best of the students and has a great career ahead of her. But first, her parents have decided to take a little holiday top-side … as in above ground. There they are attacked and Jansin is captured by some of the above-ground dwellers.
It has been part of her training and up-bringing to think of those who managed to survive above ground as being nothing more than savages; ruthless animals. Jansin is nearly disposed of by the top-siders when they think she has nothing to offer their community, but she convinces them that she could be an asset by teaching them military training. While living and learning in this mobile community she realizes that much of what she’d been taught about the surface isn’t true (except for the hypercanes). She develops a soft spot for her doctor (a self-taught herbalist referred to as a physic). Just as the community is about to set sail to run from a hypercane headed their way, Jansin’s underground family and military locate her and take her back home, and wipe out the community of people she lived with.
Though she puts on a good face, Jansin no longer believes in her underground world and she rails against it. Learning of secret, illegal testing being done on top-siders she heads to their rescue and plans an escape — the only possible place to avoid everything she’s ever known … in the eye of a hypercane.
This book is classic YA at its best. Classic YA, for those who are unfamiliar with the genre, consists of a protagonist, typically female, who is full of pathos and dread. Everything is wrong; the world is against her; she has one true love that she can’t seem to achieve; she has to play rescuer; she rails against authority that is clearly wrong; there’s usually a death of someone she’s close to. It is almost always told in first person.
We have almost everything here, except the death (not, at least, a death of someone intimately close to her). Tops in her class, her battle against authority couldn’t be stronger here, particularly because she was a part of the authority system. And when they look to make a positive example of her, she uses the moment to decry everything. From that point on, she’s a fugitive (as opposed to the ‘lost’ person she’d been earlier).
There is romance, but it seems much purer … a romance of souls or emotions and not of physical comfort as many YA books have leaned toward. Jansin is a strong character … both physically (thanks to her Academy training) and morally. She is willing to keep an open mind as well as open eyes, even in the face of unexpected truths. She could easily have been a character who denied the existence of those living above ground, claiming them to be nothing more than a small aberration of people. But her character was refreshing … willing to ‘go with the flow’ and accept what she could see.
And despite her Academy training, she is willing to fight for what’s ‘right.’ That hasn’t changed … what has changed is her perception or realization of what is right. If those who live above ground are ‘people’ with lives and loves like her own, then she knows it is wrong to treat them like animals for laboratory experiments.
It is also refreshing that the romantic figure for Jansin, while he needs her to be rescued, starts by being her rescuer. It is not simply a role-reversal derivative. They share in the role of being ‘saviors.’
There is plenty of action, set up by Jansin’s need to rescue and escape, and she does tend to leave a trail of bodies behind her … mostly those who’ve risked everything to help … but it’s clear that hers is a desire to take what she knows and start over … to escape the lies she grew up with, and to avoid living an existence of constantly trying to stay one step ahead of a fearsome mother nature.
The book is almost a complete (beginning, middle, end) book in and of itself, but there is a little tag at the very end that opens the door to the next book. Anybody want to guess how I feel about that?
Looking for a good book? Some Fine Day is a classic YA sci-fi genre book, full of strengths in character and story-telling, that will appeal to genre readers.
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Some Fine Day
author: Kat Ross
publisher: Strange Chemistry
paperback, 384 pages