Tetherless | Critical Book Review

In the speculative realm of YA fiction, C.K. O’Donnell’s “Tetherless” casts a gripping narrative where lies intertwine with betrayal. Lindsay Crandall delves into the depths of this indie mystery, dissecting its dystopian allure set against the backdrop of a not-so-distant future.


Life in Eureka: Hardships and Deception

In the desolation of Eureka, California, a post-coronavirus wasteland, the characters grapple with destitution and despair. Abbie’s struggle, living with an alcoholic father and a sick mother, unfolds in a community haunted by hunger and homelessness. O’Donnell deftly weaves a tale that reflects an eerily familiar world, echoing contemporary struggles.


Port Allegiance’s Illusion: The Mirage of Opportunities

Abbie’s pursuit of a better life leads her to Port Allegiance, a city promising prosperity and a chance at redemption. However, the veneer of affluence at Redwood Manor, where she secures employment, shatters her illusions. O’Donnell skillfully exposes the exploitation of power, drawing parallels to the present, and forces Abbie to confront the moral quagmire surrounding her.


Suspenseful Dystopian Intricacies

O’Donnell constructs a suspenseful dystopian mystery that, despite a slow start, captivates as secrets unravel. “Tetherless” lures readers into a web of plot twists and misdirection, keeping them guessing until the final revelation. The second half of the narrative accelerates, with Abbie and her friends closing in on elusive answers, setting the stage for an enthralling series.


Characters: Complex Protagonist and One-Dimensional Allies

Abbie emerges as a multifaceted protagonist, grappling with morality and self-reflection in a broken society. However, some secondary characters, particularly those in Redwood Manor, come off as one-dimensional. While O’Donnell sets a strong foundation, the hope lingers that subsequent installments will delve deeper into these characters, adding layers to the unfolding saga.


Conclusion: A Promising Prelude to a YA Series

“Tetherless” serves as a robust introduction to what promises to be a riveting young adult series. O’Donnell’s narrative prowess shines through, creating a world both unsettling and compelling, leaving readers eagerly anticipating the continuation of Abbie’s journey.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
IndieBookViewYoung Adult / Sci-Fi & Fantasy336 pages9781734506334

In the speculative realm of YA fiction, C.K. O’Donnell’s “Tetherless” casts a gripping narrative where lies intertwine with betrayal. Lindsay Crandall delves into the depths of this indie mystery, dissecting its dystopian allure set against the backdrop of a not-so-distant future. Life in Eureka: Hardships and Deception In the desolation of Eureka, California, a post-coronavirus…