Note: If you haven’t read Under Ground (Book 1 of this series) yet, this review may contain slight spoilers for UG. You can read my review on Under Ground here. Losing Ground was sent to me by the author along with Under Ground, but she had not asked for a review on this novella.
Losing Ground is a short novella that takes place before Under Ground, but is best read after it. Alice Rachel has created beautifully complex characters in a saddening dystopia, and I love it. This novella follows the character of Stephen, Chi’s older brother, and it’s a huge insight into why he is the way he is in Under Ground.
Stephen’s love interest, Willow, is introduced, and she is not only the focus of this story, but the focus of Stephen’s life. He is deeply in love with her, but as she is an Unwanted (a second child in her family, which is illegal in this world), they cannot be together. Though it’s a short book, it packs an emotional punch.
Not only is this Romeo & Juliet-esque story a heartbreaker, but Stephen’s family dynamics are tragic as well. I don’t want to give anything away regarding this, as it was a big surprise to me after reading Under Ground, and I want others to have the reading experience that Alice Rachel intended it to be.
This book was an emotional ride, but I am so glad to have read it. It has also made me even more excited for the next books in the series (Standing Ground, book 2, and Holding Ground, Stephen’s next novella) which come out soon.