Kassy Tayler's dystopian steampunk series gives readers a look inside a post-global warming world where society exists inside a protective underground enclosure known as "the dome." When teen heroine Wren's friend successfuly escapes the dome, Wren is curious about what life outside her safe enclosure holds. With series second, the RT Top Pick! rated Shadows of Glass, releasing tomorrow, we asked the author to reflect upon the theme of escape in YA and what getting out of the dome means for Wren.
Even though I have not read the book, I have to admit I am very excited about the new TV series by Stephen King, The Dome because I want to see how they manage to escape it in the end. In my new Young Adult series, escape from a dome is foremost on my heroine’s mind. Especially when she finds out that she’s been lied to her entire life and that her entire society has been lied to for the past 200 years.
The first book, Ashes Of Twilight is about the escape from the dome. Wren MacAvoy works as a coal miner for the dome, as coal is the source of power for the dome. So not only is she trapped beneath the dome, she is also trapped underground with no hope of living any life except the one she inherited at birth. There is much more to the story than just escaping. The story is about Wren finding the courage to change the circumstances of her life. It’s about Wren taking control and responsibility for her life and realizing that what she does not only affects her but the people that follow her. It is only after several people die that Wren and her friends are able to escape.
But escape doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is now perfect. Escape brings with it another set of problems. Wren and her friends are not equipped to deal with the challenges that being outside brings. How will they survive? Where will they find food and shelter? And what about the people who live outside, the ones who survived the comet that came 200 years ago that led to the dome’s existence? Shadows Of Glass is about Wren realizing that she must do what ever it takes to survive, even if it means killing someone because she is suddenly thrust into a kill or be killed world. Does that mean she wants to go back inside? Definitely not. But she realizes that she must go back inside because there are people that she cares about still trapped inside. Enough people have suffered for her mistakes. No one else should have to.
Life isn’t about taking the easy road. It’s about taking the right road. Making the right choice is how we grow up, whether we want to or not. The three books in my Ashes trilogy might take place inside and around a dome, but they are about the journey Wren takes on her way to becoming an adult. The conclusion to the series, Remnants of Tomorrow will be out February 2014.
- Kassy Tayler