On the Other Side is a dystopian novel set in a post-apocalyptic New Orleans that follows Hilaria McCleod, her friend Anthony, and other children of the Quarter, as they face their darkest nightmares and deepest fears, all in an effort to learn their true name and purpose in life. If they survive these horrific challenges, Hilaria and the others will find peace and prosperity outside of the Quarter’s dreary canals, and poverty-stricken living conditions…At least that’s what the government, or NAP as it’s called in the story, tells them…
Aube’s story is an interesting one, with a setting I find highly enjoyable. New Orleans is a place rich in history, wonder, and mystery, making it an ideal setting for a dystopian novel. Her use of historical landmarks and cultural highlights of the area adds to the story and may even inspire readers to check it out for themselves if they have not yet traveled there.
The overall premise of the story—an America whose government has fallen and been replaced by a program that determines an individual’s true name and purpose in life—is disturbing, as a good dystopia should be, and easy to follow because of Aube’s skill at description and detail. I have found many dystopian novels to be difficult to follow because of a lack of attention to detail when it comes to setting and backstory, but that is not the case here. Aube takes her time in laying out the backstory for readers, creating a rich and vivid plot, which I appreciated.
With a highly descriptive dystopian setting, interesting and likeable characters, and a plot that leaves room for sequels to come, On the Other Side is a well-written story that will leave readers wanting more. Fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent will not want to miss it.