Review of Atmospheric Pressure by Aaron Frale

Olson lives in a city that has been sealed from the outside world. He’s an Eleven Year and close to citizenship. His life is upended when one of the few adults who cares about him commits suicide – or so it appears at first. While investigating, Olson meets a girl named Natalie snooping around his school. He soon learns that one of her friends died under similarly mysterious circumstances. Together, they start looking for answers, and end up discovering the city’s darkest secrets.

“You make your own fate”. That is the motto that Olson has lived by his entire life, along with the rest of the people in The City. This is a well-written dystopian novel that will have you rethinking everything you think you know.

Olson is a young man who starts to question things after the supposed suicide of his favorite teacher, Duncan. Then when he meets Natalie, a young woman from Above, he really begins to wonder. I enjoyed the way the author revealed the hidden aspects of this world as Olson discovered them. It made the story unfold in a realistic and very disturbing way.

In Olson’s own words: “They are lying to you. We are grown, in batches, to serve the people at the top. They kill people who don’t follow along. Anyone who doesn’t fit is defective, and a new person is grown as a replacement.”


“You don’t know what true freedom does to people.”

The characters are well-developed, the story is fast paced, and the world building is great. This book reminded me of a mix of “Ender’s Game” and a dystopian novel. The interaction between Olson, Natalie and Olson’s classmates was great. The book does end on a cliffhanger, so be prepared to want to continue the series!

The narrator does a very good job and added a lot to my enjoyment of the book


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