If I could give it 10 stars I would. Christina L. Rozelle’s The Treemakers has to be one of the best book series I have read in a very long time. Never have I cheered for characters so hard in my entire reading life. These books are not for the faint of heart. The truly ugly side of human nature is showcased at its prime and the perverse and sadistic treatment of our most precious resource, children, is heart wrenching. As I read Rozelle’s words I shuddered and cried for the little hands and hearts of the Treemakers. I have had to sit and think of the words to describe these books in this series because frankly they left a very deep mark on me and as an avid reader that fact leaves me in awe. Joy Montgomery or Momma Joy as most know her is as strong a character as they come in heart, spirit, and action. I absolutely loved this book and the entire series.
The Treemakers: Humanity at its worst destroyed its life source scaring the earth and the sky and creating a desolate wasteland full of poisonous air and an unforgiving sun. The Treemakers live underground and work away making metal trees meant to save this dying world. The oldest Treemakers are young teens who share the task of watching over their brothers and sisters. Momma Joy and Papa Jax are all these children have left in this savage world. Slaves to the cruel Superiors, the children are half starved and deprived of anything childlike and are forced to suppress their childish nature. Each has lost everything they loved at one point or another and each has found a new family within the loving arms of Momma Joy who tells them stories of magical things and a place called Paradise.
Joy and Jax are determined to find ways to ease the suffering of their brothers and sister, risking their own lives to sneak into the parts of Greenleigh long closed and forgotten by the Superiors when the air got too bad to breath and all the grown-ups died and when family became those who endured together. They dream of freedom, but with no real understanding of the world beyond Greenleigh they can only lean on the rumors of monsters, cannibals, and horrible deaths from bad air or burning up in the in the sun.The two risk their lives to find food and clothing and anything that will ease their suffering. The evil Superiors would put an end to them if they ever found out what they were doing. When they find what they think is their chance at Paradise through a gift by a mysterious stranger they know what they have to do…get the kids and escape the Superiors.
Sloppy in their adventures below the tree factor Joy, Jax and their best friends Miguel and Aby are caught by the Superiors and tortured. Their fates seem sealed at the hands of these sadistic foes. Joy believes she can lead them all to freedom, but it will mean trusting her instincts in the darkest of places so that maybe one day the children of Greenleigh can dance in the light.
Final Thoughts: While Joy is one strong heroine it is important to see that The Treemakers are a resilient bunch and their successes, failures, sorrows, and pains are dealt with as a team…a family, with Joy at helm. This story is about family, friendship, and most of all love. It has been several days since finishing this first book in the Treemakers series and maybe 12 hours since finishing the last book in the series and I still feel these characters’ grief, heartache, love, and light. Rozelle’s talent has moved me, and that is rare. She wove these very intricate stories with so many layers and players all important pieces of the puzzle Joy and her family must put together. At the core of these stories Rozelle has created is the human spirit and the light in the darkness that rages against the immense sorrow and loss that is only compounded by the fact that these characters are children. Simply Amazing!