Book Reviews

Book Review: The Threat Below by Jason Latshaw

She heard the legends. She knew the history. But nothing could have prepared her for what she found.

Three hundred years ago, a lethal and mysterious threat arose and pushed humanity to the brink of extinction. Now, a small remnant – the descendants of the few survivors who escaped the massacre below – lives above the clouds, on the top of a mountain. But now their water supply is being poisoned. Something down below is trying to kill them. Now an expedition, including seventeen year-old Icelyn Brathius, must descend and face the horror that wiped out civilization centuries ago.

The danger is closer than you think. The shocking true nature of the Threat Below.

As Icelyn faces dangers in a world humans are not meant to survive, she learns that not everything is as it seems, uncovers an ancient revelation, and faces a choice that will change the fate of everyone above and below the clouds. Will Icelyn be strong enough to survive – and bear a terrible secret?

Join Icelyn Brathius as she leaves everything she has ever known to journey to the place no one was ever supposed to go

In my opinion, one of the aspects that make dystopian fantasy novels so fun to read are the worlds created by the author. Jason Latshaw has indeed created his world so well, giving the reader a beautiful, heaven-like ascension (above the clouds) yet keeping a creepy what’s really going on atmosphere. Like all things in life nothing is perfect and so it goes for these survivors of humanity. The need for water and the need to know are at the core now of their existence.

The Threat Below is an exciting, thrilling, adventurous young adult fantasy. A unique take on a dystopian world indeed. As humanity has ascended to a level of survival, keeping secrets, shutting off the danger that brought harm to them generations ago, seems to be their sole mission. The concerns and need for survival are there with loads of adventure and at times absolute chilling fear. There is an absolute mysterious and thrilling vibe.

Of course, set up road blocks, post signs that say danger, tell folks to stay out, then say no more. Don’t tell them why. It will be for their own good. Those things only make people want to cross that line more! And they do! Curiosity, their need for water of course and their need to defend what is left, all reasons to cross the line. Along with the intelligence of the young people that shine through as they question what they’ve been told their entire lives by their elders and explore to find the truth.

While this tale holds all the aspects of fantasy books that I love, there is also a lesson. One of the reasons I love dystopian stories so much is how the human condition is put to the test. These characters fight for survival while battling the basics of being human in every day life.

Jason has brilliantly gave us a story to entertain any age and leave a thought provoking hangover. While reading, I felt as if I was in a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys novel with thoughts of The Giver and Avatar. It was very interesting how the author writes from different character’s perspective. Going from Icelyn then to her father expresses both sides, their concerns and views. How each see the world they are living in and their past. I highly recommend The Threat Below to fantasy lovers of all ages. A great story with lots of food for thought.


Author Jason Latshaw

Jason Latshaw is a writer who lives in Los Angeles.

Latshaw has always enjoyed writing. (All writers say that but he states “it’s true with me and other writers are all probably lying”.) Even when he’s not writing, he is, just without a pen or a keyboard. That’s why there’s often a blank look on his face.

Latshaw has an MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA. He also writes television and film scripts.

Latshaw was almost kidnapped when in the third grade and (according to the police there at the time) would have been pressed into the sex slave trade in Egypt. He believes his life would have been very different had that happened.

In his spare time, Latshaw enjoys believing in Bigfoot, Nessie, Chupacabra, the Jersey Devil and all manner of cryptozoological creatures because the world is more fun that way, but in his quieter more honest moments he’ll admit that he’s afraid that maybe they are all just made up.

In his darkest moments, Latshaw is afraid of three things: Serial killers, Alien Abductions, and Sharks. He recently heard a radio show about an entity called the Hat Man the other night, and the Hat Man is trying his hardest to join the club

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