The book I'm thinking of has the protagonist as a female in her teens who is exceptional at fighting and enjoys it. She lives underground in a society that believes the above ground is toxic and unsafe for habitation. Before I continue, I'm not thinking of The City of Ember — I enjoyed that series but it's not the one I'm thinking of. The town she lives with, as there are multiple underground, finds a boy, who I'll say is the second protagonist, in the underground who claims to have come from above ground. They later find a blind boy while hunting for food underground and he says the monsters are now attacking the towns and killing them off. After the town disbelieves it they are sent to the blind boy's town to investigate, and find it is true. They end up escaping to above ground and find a group of men who basically enslave women to reproduce and kill for what they need.

After a sequence of events the leader follows them and they find the second protagonist's old lover — or at least, she loves him, but not the other way around — in a bunker. Later the leader of the bandits joins them while they shelter in an abandoned house for the winter; the leader apparently also has a sense of love for the girl, as does the second protagonist, although he's not so sure about it. They end up living in a town where they have a biblical belief about what men and women should or should not do as a society. Typically women do the crafting with clothes and whatnot while men do the heavy lifting and work, women are also not supposed to fight. They end up banishing her claiming her behavior towards fighting is what's bringing divine punishment to them, aka the goblin raids and she puts together an army of humans to fight the army of goblins eventually.


2 Answers 2


Based on a post on whatsthatbook.com in which a person asks:

i don't remember exactly what happens but i know its about three kids that live in a weird i think authoritarian society underground and they go to the surface. in the journey to the surface one of the kids gets blinded i think. in the surface there are wars of some kind...

It sounds like it may be, "This Time of Darkness" by H. M. Hoover. A review on goodreads has this to say:

The story follows Amy, an exceptionally smart girl who is somewhat of an outcast because of a certain talent - she can read. Reading isn't illegal, but it is frowned upon. Amy hates her life, her "mother" (the woman who gave birth to her, but little more than that), and school. She meets Axel, a "new" kid in class - a "crazy", who claims to have come from "somewhere else". Not another level or floor or sector, but ELSEWHERE, as in OUTSIDE.

Additional review/description on jamesdavisnicoll.com with various book covers depicted.

On the original post I linked there are a number of other books listed that could also be what you are looking for. If this isn't the one, maybe look around that post for a bit.


Enclave by Ann Aguirre

When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters - or Freaks - who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.

I was trying for the longest time to find this so I'm glad I could post this, hope it helps others.

  • If this is a quote from somewhere, please format it as a quote: with a > in front of the paragraph, as well as sourcing your quote. Thank you!
    – Mithical
    Aug 22, 2017 at 8:46
  • It seems to be a standard blurb, so I chose a likely-looking page to link
    – FuzzyBoots
    Sep 19, 2019 at 11:34

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