imperviousA world that has been destroyed on the surface by a War and the remaining population live far underground.
by Heather Letto
(The Ascension Series, Book One)
Publisher: BookFish Books, LLC, PO Box 274, Salem, VA 24153. Pb. pp 312. ISBN 978-0-9914778-1-4. $11.99
Heather Letto’s “Impervious” is the first of the “Ascension” series of books for young adults/or adults. Letto, who lives part-time in Northern Illinois, also writes for Christian publications. “Impervious” has a world that has been destroyed on the surface by a War and the remaining population live far underground in an advanced society with layers of hierarchy. Fran (real name Sarah) is now a Rebel, living in the air ventilation shafts and gathering food when and where she can. There is a big, big secret that Fran discovers and her wit, intelligence and physical strength are put to the test.
In this society, Marcus is the Ruler and Benevolent Despot would be a good description. The city is divided into sections with the rich and their luxuries, secluded from the rest of the population. Food is provided, everyone works at something and there is peace. Who would want to escape, actually, there is no escape. The death rate, instead of being at ages 60-70 or beyond, has fallen to the mid-40’s and even lower. “The Beast” is claiming people and so an equilibrium has been established to maintain the status quo. Just so much food for just so many people. With her gift of blending in, Fran soon discovers one secret after another and must always remain a loner to survive, even from her only brother, Ted. However, along comes Pete, another Rebel, and a bit of romance amid the dangers here. Electric shock is the method of control and done by hologram. In fact, the amusement for the dwellers of Impervious, are hologram games (think Old Rome here), that take them to any place for excitement, even though they are underground. Above ground is poison, but “someday,” the Epoch will come and  no need for Impervious.
“Impervious” is double spaced on the page for easier reading. You follow Fran through the air ventilation system, meet her friends and the reader seems to be just behind her through her adventures. Getting a hiding place just ahead of the hologram police makes you think you are there, also. This is a society where older people (age 40) are in rapid decline, fed by automated machines, and expire within weeks. People are kept interested by the latest fashion trends, and automated devices. Anything to keep from thinking about getting older.
I found the idea of this society to be an interesting one and written with sparse, though descriptive, language. You pick up things as you go along. A young girl turns rebel and sees if she can exist on her own. One is always on alert, sleep is in spurts and no one is trusted.  A young woman who is the main character, can be reminiscent of “Hunger Games” or “Divergent.” They take place on the surface, while “Impervious” is underground, but the theme is the same…there isn't enough for everyone. A reader could find Christian values in this book, that of a Savior (feminine) to lead people to the right path and a society that has fallen on bad ways and needs cleansing. On the other hand, a reader could decide this is a science fiction book with a twist and even underground, people eat French fries with catsup. Something for everyone.
Reviewed by Marie Asner
For other online book reviews, see the following:
The Warden And The Wolf King