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5 stars for Refuge from the World (The Beartooth Chronicles, Book 1) by Kim McMahill #yalit #yadystopian #teenlit #teendystopian #dystopian #bookreview

Title: Refuge from the World (The Beartooth Chronicles, Book 1)

Author: Kim McMahill

Genre: YA Dystopian, Teen Dystopian


Book Blurb:


Ashley McPhee arrived in Beartooth with her mom, Sara, when she was three years old. Ever since Ash can remember, life has been simple and peaceful. She enjoyed a carefree childhood, tending honey bees with her mom and spending time with her best friend, Caleb Solomon. But, life in their idyllic mountaintop community is changing.


After learning of the government’s plan to use a geoengineering process to cool the planet, Ash and Caleb realize they need to step up and take an active role in the community. Along with fear for how the process might impact their food supply, Ash learns her mom’s health is failing.


Sara doesn’t want Ash to face an uncertain future alone and nudges her and Caleb into marriage. Even though they have known each other most of their lives, Ash and Caleb’s relationship has changed drastically in a short period of time. They embrace the challenges of learning about each other, dealing with tragedy and grief, protecting their community from deadly predators and ruthless neighbors, and experiencing epic adventures, while trying to find solutions to a rapidly changing environment and deteriorating world.


Additional Info:


Refuge from the World is the first novel in The Beartooth Chronicles. The next novel in the series, Above the Abyss, is scheduled for release summer 2024. Subsequent novels will be released every 4-5 months after the previous novel.


Series blurb:


In a world plagued by natural and human disasters, a small group of individuals secure a struggling mountaintop resort to establish a sustainable community away from a country riddled with violence and hate. The home they’ve created has provided a safe and comfortable existence, but as environmental disasters continue to multiply, bringing out the worst of humanity, the residents of Beartooth find themselves faced with a series of challenges that will test their ability to survive.


My Review:


A chilling scenario depicting the future consequences of global warming sets the stage for this YA dystopian tale.


In Beartooth, Ashley McPhee lives a quiet life with her mother, Sara, her best friend Caleb, and a small group of families in a self-sustaining small community. With water levels rising and shifting tectonic plates, the United States is shrinking, and the residents of Beartooth fear the chaos and violence in nearby settlements will find them.


Especially, after they learn the government plans to use an untested, geoengineering process to cool the planet, threatening their fragile ecosystem and potentially destroying their crops. To complicate matters even further for Ashley, her mother’s health is failing, forcing her to consider marriage and assume full responsibility of their apiary.


The world-building is detailed, depicting not only the shifting geography, but also the changes in wildlife behavior. From the beginning of the story, a sense of danger looms over the characters that carries through to the end, leading into the next book of the series coming this summer.


Ashley is a wonderful main character with a quiet strength pushing her forward despite all the obstacles in her path. Her counterpart, Caleb also plays a vital role in the story with bravery and leadership. With the older members of the community aging, Ashley and Caleb, along with a secondary cast of characters around their age, must carry the future of their community on their backs and forge ahead.


I highly recommend this slightly terrifying dystopian tale for fans of Hunger Games and the Divergent Series.


My Rating: 5 stars


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Author Biography:


Kim McMahill started out writing nonfiction, but her passion for adventure, stories of survival against the odds, and speculating about the future of humanity and our planet, soon turned her attention towards fiction. She has published eleven novels, over eighty travel and human-interest articles, and contributed to a travel story anthology. Growing up in a beautiful mountain west community, traveling the world, and enjoying a twenty-year career with the National Park Service, has given her the opportunity to live in amazing places, experience incredible adventures, and witness many changes in our world, all of which have helped shape her stories.


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Reviewed by: Michelle


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