Nowhereville by Sean Campbell Review

Release Date: June 2011
Age: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Action, Adventure
Format: E-Book
Source: Author
Buy it: Paperback or Kindle
After his mother's death, sixteen year old Seth Bradley chooses to leave behind his friends, his school, and his entire life within the rusted, broken down space station Ticonderoga. With his sister Jenna in tow, he sets out to join a father he barely knows in the orbital city of Grass Valley, a monument to human achievement floating three hundred miles above the Earth. He's never seen the open sky before. Never seen a robot either, until he meets Anne, a strange, quiet shopgirl that no one ever seems too bothered to notice. Ava Morales is a girl with a mysterious and violent past. The soldiers of the Democratic Republic of Mars sing praises to her name, but to her family she is a terrible secret. She is considered a terrorist by the Allied Nations of Earth, but to others still, she's nothing more than a troubled teenager, on her way to becoming a permanent resident of the Grass Valley prison system. When Grass Valley is caught in the crossfire of an all-out war between Earth and Mars, Seth, Jenna and Anne must work together to survive as they find themselves trapped in a world that is literally crumbling around them. Meanwhile Ava unexpectedly finds herself alone and finally free in a chaotic, hostile city torn apart by conspiracy and fear. A city where, maybe, she has a chance to finally live in peace. A city in ruins, lost to the blackness of space. A city with secrets all its own.
For some reason this review has been extremely difficult to write. Obviously I really liked the book, what with four stars and all, but it's hard to explain why but, here goes.

Right from the beginning of Nowhereville there's so much going on. We have Seth and Jenna who have just faced tragedy and are going to live with a father they barely know. We have Ava who is in trouble or is trouble. All of this happens on a space station that may become the center of a Mars and Earth war that is building in the background. But, even with everything that's going on it's easy to get absorbed in the descriptions that the author administers. The setting of the book is what makes it simply remarkable. I loved the way Sean Campbell constructed this world that when I think about the book feels like it's a memory and I was there. I wanted to be there, even with everything going on.

It really makes one of my favorite quotes come to mind:
Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere. - Jean Rhys
Mr. Campbell wrote a book set in space that, fortunately, we mere earthlings can understand. Unlike some science fiction books that I've read it's very easy to follow. It's futuristic, fun, and rather addicting. It was hard for me to put the book (or my kindle) down because I felt like I needed to read just a little more.

Nowhereville was an extremely fast paced read that I read in just a couple sittings. While I wish there was more to book one, I am eagerly anticipating book two because we are definitely left hanging. It's one of those, "Really?" endings. But, definitely in a good way too, because that means you're enjoying the book, right?

Another cool aspect to the story, which I haven't come across in many books (maybe I'm reading the wrong books), was the inclusion of robots. How fun is that. These are robots that are very much like humans in both their looks, mannerisms, and sometimes even emotions. On this adventure ride the reader meets Annie, I mean Anne. She's a sweet robot willing to do anything to help and she does.

Our other characters are just as well 'built' and developed. Seth and Jenna are a lot like any brother sister combo. They quarrel a lot but it's fun to read. And, when it counts, they are there for each other. Together with Anne they face a farm with no gravity, martian military, and so much more. I found them to be adorable, I can completely picture both. Ava is still a mystery to me. Probably the main reason I would give this book 4 stars. I know we'll find out more in the books to come but I'd like to know more about her now.

Nowhereville is an excellent Science Fiction adventure story about survival and so much more. Thank you to the wonderful author for the opportunity to read and review this book. I know I've said it before but I can't wait until book two!

I recommend it to fans of:


  1. This sounds cool! I love when I learn about books with male protagonists and I just might need to get it for my classroom to get those picky boys to read :)

  2. Thank you for the kind review! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    And yes, Ava gets a little more to do in the sequel, which I am still putting together.

    As do the robots, but that's planning a little too far ahead. ;)

  3. Oooh, this one sounds great! I really loved both Unwind and Feed, and if you recommend this one to fans of those two, then I can't wait to try this one out! I also really love the sound of the space station, robots, and intergalactic war! Nowadays most YA books don't focus on things like that, so this would be really interesting to read. I love the quote you included as well, and awesome review!