Book Review: Impervious by Heather Letto

It’s like a long shadow recoiling, slowly releasing it’s prey to reach toward ever-present sunlight. That’s how Impervious, the new book by Heather Letto, feels.

The heroine initiates readers, dragging them along through dank tunnels stretched beneath the city of Impervious. Fran is a Rebel, staunchly Unaccountable to the oppressive Council. She, and many like her, took to the city underground when The Council’s abusive arm became too long. Lifespans shortened, like blind sheep many surrendered their lives to the elitist Council, every move of every living being was monitored and the sky closed in.

Four generations after The War, merely a fact in the history books to fifteen-year-old Fran, Impervious has become a sealed city. The earth was destroyed in The War and humanity built a protected city, safe from the hostile environment that took over earth.

At first, the human leadership, overseen by Marcus, sought the best interests of all people. But power went to their heads. Over time Marcus, and those he deemed worthy, tightened their grip on the captive audience. Once, the people had hoped to return to a restored earth, but now, it seems impossible. Marcus closed the portal, the only escape from Impervious. Most have forgotten it even existed and accepted that they will never live on earth again. Meanwhile, people are declining faster and faster, dying younger and younger. Fran wonders, is life worth living like this?

From the dingy underground tunnels of Impervious, Letto, withdraws the mystery with tantalizing skill. At the close of each chapter, she dangles a morsel so tempting that the reader can barely put the book down. Hence, my description of a shadow. The story line arcs slowly; for moments I felt in the dark—what on earth is happening? But with great skill, Letto brings each question to light then presents the next one.

The best reference I can give for this book is Hunger Games meets the Gospel. Letto never throws religion in the reader’s face, but the subplot is unmistakable. From the destruction of earth, the pseudo life of men in their walled-off city of Impervious, to the hope of restoration to a new earth, everything is there: the fall, redemption and the new earth of Revelation 21:1.

Without Letto’s imagination, it’s impossible to portray this story adequately and not spoil the ending. Suffice to say, every element of an excellent story is there: mystery, an endearing heroine, multi-dimensional characters, unique description, empathy and a satisfying conclusion. Everyone will enjoy this book; science fiction readers will discover their new favorite author.

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