Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review: Rootless by Chris Howard


Chris Howard
Print Edition: 336 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Release Date: November 1, 2012
Source: Aubidle

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17-year-old Banyan is a tree builder. Using salvaged scrap metal, he creates forests for rich patrons who seek a reprieve from the desolate landscape. Although Banyan's never seen a real tree--they were destroyed more than a century ago--his missing father used to tell him stories about the Old World.

Everything changes when Banyan meets a mysterious woman with a strange tattoo--a map to the last living trees on earth, and he sets off across a wasteland from which few return. Those who make it past the pirates and poachers can't escape the locusts . . . the locusts that now feed on human flesh.

But Banyan isn't the only one looking for the trees, and he's running out of time. Unsure of whom to trust, he's forced to make an alliance with Alpha, an alluring, dangerous pirate with an agenda of her own. As they race towards a promised land that might only be a myth, Banyan makes shocking discoveries about his family, his past, and how far people will go to bring back the trees.

I first learned of this book from Asheley over at Into the Hall of Books when she posted THIS gushing review.  I added it to my TBR.  And now I’ve finished it. 

I can honestly say, that if Asheley hadn’t convinced me in her review, this isn’t something I would have chosen on my own.  The names, the setup, the lure of trees…it all seemed kinda hokey.  But I would have judged wrong.  Way wrong.

What Howard gives us in a world that is raw and vast and void and so many unknown variables.  There are some clichĂ©s, things/people/places typical of the post-dystopian genre.  When you look at the big picture it all works to weave an intriguing, enrapturing story that kept me rooted to my seat reading this.

I love the world that Howard created with the Big Bad Guy and the fighting-tooth-and-nails-to-survive little guy.  I love the intrigue and suspense.  And that people die at a Game of Thrones pace—that you being to care about them, and then Howard kills them off!  I love that it’s heartbreaking and nerve-wracking.  I love you don’t really know what’s coming next.  I love that each character has a unique voice (yes, I read this as an audiobook, but even without the voice actor, each character was unique), that they were true to themselves through the entire book, even if they made the wrong choice.  I love that there are difficult decisions that have to be made, and they are torn to shreds over what to do.

The things, and there’s only a couple, that annoyed me are Banyan's single-mindedness and that Howard used the various forms of “reckon” frequently.

Y’all, there was a point where I was sure that I would finish Rootless, but not continue the series.  Then Howard put some more words down and changed my mind.

rating 4 of 5

richard signature


  1. YES! I love this! I can't tell you how many times I've read this and listened to it. So it sounds like you will read The Rift at some point. Let me know when you do!!! (:

  2. This book had been on my to-read list for a while. I put off picking it up because my to-read pile was so tall already. Once I opened it, though, seriously. When I say I couldn't put it down, I mean I was walking down the hall, making beds, blow-drying my hair, cooking... all with "Rootless" in my hand. This is a phenomenal debut.


Thanks so much for the comment love!