Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Line by Teri Hall

Book Details
The Line by Teri Hall
Hardcover, 224 pages
2010, Dial
ISBN: 0803734662
Series: Book 1 in The Line series

An invisible, uncrossable physical barrier encloses the Unified States. The Line is the part of the border that lopped off part of the country, dooming the inhabitants to an unknown fate when the enemy used a banned weapon. It’s said that bizarre creatures and superhumans live on the other side, in Away. Nobody except tough old Ms. Moore would ever live next to the Line.

Nobody but Rachel and her mother, who went to live there after Rachel’s dad died in the last war. It’s a safe, quiet life. Until Rachel finds a mysterious recorded message that can only have come from Away. The voice is asking for help.

Who sent the message? Why is her mother so protective? And to what lengths is Rachel willing to go in order to do what she thinks is right?

The Line begins with mystery. Every action and bit of dialogue builds onto this the mystery of what is on the other side of the line. As I read, I found that the who, what, where, when and why of the line was my only concern in this story.

The Line contains a well-built alternative world where governmental control and interference in the United States has hit a scary high. Citizens freedoms are all but taken away completely and it is easy to see parallels between the this fictional version of the country and the real life countries the US often gets involved with in the name of freedom. It's a beautifully twisted form of the country becoming it's own worst enemy.

Rachel's parents, especially her mother, are at the forefront of what is supposed to be an important thread of the story. Unfortunately, the information revealed is obvious well before it is told. The big, emotional plot climax of the book feels almost too easy. It's obviously a set up for further novels, but everything works out so neatly and without realistic emotion that it was a letdown.

As characters - Rachel, her mother, her mother's employer and even the boy from the other side of the Line - fall flat. I couldn't bring myself to care about any one of them. There was nothing intensely interesting or sympathetic about them and I needed much more of a reason to feel for them and their situations. Aspects of the others, their differences and abilities, were very intriguing but were only touched upon lightly.

The Line isn't as eventful as it seemed like it would be, but it shows promise as the beginning of a longer story line. Life on the other side of the line is what really held my interest and although I didn't absolutely love this book, I will definitely be reading the next.


Teri Hall's website


  1. Well 3 shots is good enough for me! Lolz. I think this still sounds really good, and the lack of true emotional connections with characters is a huge problem within YA books anyway. Still can't wait to read this! ^.^

  2. Well it sounds interesting if a little disappointing. Still I'm curious especially if will be a good series.