Review: Above by Isla Morley

Isla Morley

Gallery Books March 4, 2014
Pages 384
ISBN 9781476731520
A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review

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I am a secret no one is able to tell.

Blythe Hallowell is sixteen when she is abducted by a survivalist and locked away in an aban­doned missile silo in Eudora, Kansas. At first, she focuses frantically on finding a way out, until the harrowing truth of her new existence settles in—the crushing loneliness, the terrifying madness of a captor who believes he is saving her from the end of the world, and the persistent temptation to give up. But nothing prepares Blythe for the burden of raising a child in confinement. Deter­mined to give the boy everything she has lost, she pushes aside the truth about a world he may never see for a myth that just might give mean­ing to their lives below ground. Years later, their lives are ambushed by an event at once promis­ing and devastating. As Blythe’s dream of going home hangs in the balance, she faces the ultimate choice—between survival and freedom.

Above is a curious piece of work. The setting alone makes one pause and contemplate the entire story which morphs into an experience. A missile silo? How imaginative and claustrophobic. I couldn’t fathom a more secure location for the greatest disaster to embrace the world AND hold someone against their will unbeknownst to outsiders. Secluded, air tight, scary, very clever of Morley. I wonder how Eudora, Kansas received being the point of focus? Eudora, Kansas a location I will be sure to remember.

I found Above creepy and thought provoking. Every bit of ‘above’ and ‘below’ was descriptive as well as eerie. The minute Blythe was abducted to her reentry ‘above’ caused angst and mystery of how the whole scenario would pan out. I found the details somewhat riveting, for sure my curiosity was aroused.

Blythe, from a young girl following her through adulthood was affecting. Her strength carried her and my heart skipped a beat when she teetered on the edge of madness. I have no idea how she kept her wits. I honestly don’t know how I would have coped in her position. All the emotion and mental anguish she suffered won my sympathy and empathy. If I could have rescued Blythe myself I would have. Resilience, hope, strength and love gave her the necessary ingredients to survive when others would have given up. Dobbs, where do I begin with this vile creature. Yes, he ‘saved’ Blythe but the man was mentally ill. He saw one view, his view, and it was distorted. All the years spent together, no wonder Blythe exhibits signs of Stockholm Syndrome. The man’s actions were seriously misguided.

As Blythe and Adam experience ‘above’ it’s moving. Each experienced the outside in such touching ways. Blythe struggled with all the changes as Dobbs voice streamed through her mind was torture. Adam, all his senses were fully engaged. Exhilarating and frightening. Morley did a great job taking the reader ‘above.’


Above is a offbeat story with a theme of strength, resilience, hope and more leaving the reader with much to consider.










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