A free copy of this book was provided to me from Authoramp in exchange for an honest review.
A dystopian tale of earth, where war has ravaged the earth's surface making it uninhabitable. The underground dwellers segregate themselves into two racial groups: shadows (those with dark skin tones) and ghosts(light skin or white skin tones). The population of 417? is always lead by a counsel made up of a member from each of these three groups: botany, engineering and medical.
Willem of Tafel is the last remaining ghost at age 18. Ridiculed and hated for being a ghost Willem does not have an easy life. It only becomes harder when he is put on trial for an accidental death of a young shadow. He's exiled to the surface which is believed to be a sure death sentence. But what he finds on the surface goes beyond all the false belief/info told within Tafel society. Now Willem just has to convince someone in Tafel to listen to him.
Willem's ignorance/innocence/naivety when meeting Stephane and Hery's group was cute. I liked that there was no real suspicion or danger upon discovery of the group in Cape Town. I was extremely bothered by the discrimination in Tafel and was glad to see that this wasn't the case on the surface. Things moved a lot quicker between Hery and Willem than I was expecting. Seriously, Willem wasn't even altogether sure what was really happening since Tafel society is structured in a way to emotionally stunt it's citizens.
I was quite vexed during a majority of the reading because of the small minded, power hungry belief of the the shadows. Mavuto was just a character easy to hate as were the shadow citizens of Tafel.
It was a lovely read with pretty good world building. It was easy to get caught up in the the culture and depiction of a different society from our own.