Series: The Treemakers #1
Published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing on September 13th 2015
Stay on guard. Be aware of your surroundings. Notice the nuances. Cover your tracks. Always be prepared. Question everything. This is how you stay alive, Joy. And this is how you keep the ones you love alive.
Sixteen-year-old Joy Montgomery, daughter of Zephyr the Magnificent, the great magician, can only reminisce of better times. Before the Superiors. Before the uprisings. Long ago. Before the dying Earth ripped the family she loved away from her.
In this desolate dystopian future, the Greenleigh orphans are “privileged” with the task of building mechanical trees for Bygonne, so their world behind The Wall can breathe another day, and so the Superiors may continue their malevolent reign.
Lured by a yearning for freedom, tenacious curiosity, and hunger for adventure, Joy discovers hope and magic amid the misery, and power in her promise to care for those remaining, whom she loves enough to risk her life for. To save them, herself, and the boy she adores from the abuse and slavery by the Superiors, Joy must entrust the aid of an unlikely ally who harbors a dangerous secret.
With an intriguing stranger at the helm, Joy and the treemakers embark on an intense and terrifying, yet liberating quest for the truth about the existence of the forbidden paradise beyond The Wall.
This dark dystopian finds the world in precarious position where most struggle to breathe and going outside just isn’t an option. Rather than just have us take the word of the book, Rozelle shows us what happens (and it’s rather gruesome). The show-not-tell nature of this book is awesome throughout and it creates an elaborate but scary look into the world the characters live in. I love a book with strong world building, and The Treemakers has that in spades with a history of how it got to this point, a clear understanding of the power hierarchy, and the daily struggles the characters face.
Joy, one of the oldest girls at the Greenleigh factory, is the mother of the group–the one who makes sure that the younger kids are clean and tucked in at night, the bedtime storyteller, the provider. She has a ton of responsibility heaped on her, so you know she has to be a strong character. At the same time, she’s regularly realistically acts her age, so when she reaches her limit, that’s what you get a sixteen year old’s reaction. The same goes for the other kids in Greenleigh. So much weight on their shoulders but still just kids and young teens in many ways. All of the other characters are well developed, be it a child or super creepy Superior. Rozelle created a group of characters that you become easily invested in and yet another that you are easily repulsed by. I had strong reactions to the fates of many of these characters. Some definitely surprised me too, which I love in a book. Smudge’s backstory is great!
This was a compelling one-sitting read that does not hold back. Nothing is off limits. The story is about death, survival, friendship, betrayal, love, environmental destruction, and more. It was occasionally jaw dropping and a kick in the gut. The trials and tribulations that these characters must face, ugh, I just can’t imagine my surviving a life like that, although if life today was like that, I’d be in my twilight years (now that’s scary). This intense read should be on your must read list!