REVIEW: Alternity by Mari Mancusi

by Mari Mancusi

RELEASE DATE: 19th October 2012
FORMAT: Ebook, 236 pages
GENRE: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Imagine waking up in a post-apocalyptic, nightmare world–and being told your whole life is but a dream. Skye Brown thought she was your typical teen–good grades, hot boyfriend, and an afterschool job that pays her to play videogames. But then she started having the dreams.

In her dreams, there is no Earth. Only Terra, a bleak, underground wasteland where people live in squalor and oppression. In her dreams, there is no Skye–only Mariah, a rebel leader fighting against a vile, dystopian regime. And then there’s Dawn, a handsome, but haunted solider who sees her as but an empty shell of the girl he once love–a betrayer he vows to hate forever, despite what she sees deep in his eyes. Now, ripped between Dark Siders and club kids, the mundane and the mystic, Skye finds herself in a fight against time–to learn who she really is, where she belongs..and why. The shocking truth will have her questioning her own reality…and her heart. (Goodreads)


The premise of Alternity sounded interesting and with Gena Showalter giving her recommendation on the front cover, I did anticipate a good read. The problem with a high expectation is that you can be disappointed easily and the only emotion I experienced during the first quarter was confusion. This was a problem for me, as I had only just finished a book that I disliked greatly and I was left thinking that I had another book to struggle through. I must point out that I was too quick to make an informed decision and I did end up enjoying it.

The main protagonist Skye, a human girl from earth that is happy with her perfect life. College is going well, she has an amazing after school job that pays her to design and play computer games and Skye’s got a hot boyfriend who is a DJ at the trendiest club in town, Luna. The only thing that is worrying Skye is her vivid and frightening nightmares.

What started as a normal evening out at Luna for Skye took a weird turn and imagine Skye’s shock when she is pulled from her normal life and wakes up in Terra, the place from her nightmares.

The problem is as Skye is thrust into Terra, this alternative universe, the people around her seem to recognised her as someone else, calling her Mariah, treating her like a celebrity, a hero to be worshiped. It’s during this period of Skye trying to discover who she is, what she wants from her life, who she can trust and how she can return to earth, that the plot was confusing. As Skye is going through these emotions we are too and I guess this is the point to the opening chapters, to share and experience Skye/Mariah’s confused state.

Once the scene is set and Skye realises who she is, the pace increases and I did enjoy the development of Skye’s character, the way the start is written does make sense, I think I had a slight moment of panic.

Terra, has many underground levels as something has made the surface uninhabitable, these levels correspond to your situation in life, the working/lower class or slaves live the deepest, these people are also referred to as Dark Siders and the wealthiest live closer to the surface. The government positions are held by eight individuals called the Circle of Eight and these positions are passed down through family connections, there is no democracy.

One of The Circle of Eight senators is Duske, he tries to influence Skye to join his cause against the Dark Siders and all she has to do is speak at a seminar before her return to earth. The leaders of the rebellion, Eclipsers have other plans for Skye and Skye has to choose a side. There is an Eclipser that makes an impression on Skye, his name is Dawn and although this relationship is slightly antagonistic, it allows you to understand and connect with Skye, as she discovers who she is. As their relationship develops so does the the situation and it becomes more dangerous the longer Skye stays in Terra.

Alternity reminded me greatly of the film, The Matrix and there are many references with in the book to the movie.

Bet you wished you chose the blue pill, Neo.

This wasn’t fair. At least Neo was given a choice. He wanted to know. I never sasked to be dragged into Terra. To learn the truth of its world. I would have been totally content living out my days in the Matrix, innocent and unaware of it all.

Skye has to make a choice of who she will support and gathers evidence to determine the choice she will make, there are many twists, some are predictable, while others come as a surprise. If you are a fan of the Matrix then give Alternity a try, packed with action, twists and a bit of romance that gives you something a little bit different.


A confusing and unenjoyable start to Alternity, which for me, made it a struggled to get involved with the story, but after around 30% through, the pace and the plot began to change and I found myself interested and turning pages more easily. It reminded me of the film The Matrix. Skye became a delightful, selfless heroine who grew in strength and a more enjoyable character to read as the story progressed. Alternity was slightly predictable in some ways, yet it still managed to throw in a few twists that surprised me. I had a really mixed reactions to this book but overall I did enjoy the fantasy world Mancusi created.


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A midnight book worm who loves dystopian and young adult fantasy and paranormal romances. As long as the leading man is dead sexy, she's happy. [Becs no longer reviews for the site.]


Laura January 31, 2013 at 8:31 am

Not sure on this one, it sounds like a mixed read. But it does show it’s definitely worth persevering with books.


Becs February 1, 2013 at 1:08 am

I’m not one to give up on a book yet, although at times I should just let some go. It was worth persevering in the end and I’m glad I did but I agree a bit of a mixed read .


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