Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 5-8-In Emma Clayton's futuristic, action-packed tale (Chicken House, 2009), 12-year-old Mika is certain that his twin sister, Ellie, whom everyone thought drowned, is still alive. He senses that winning a series of battle contests invented by Mal Gorman, the minister of youth development, is the key to finding her, and puts his mutant gifts to work to do just that. Along the way, he discovers that Gorman is training the poorer kids of London to fight a war against a powerful few who hold the population at large in tiered and walled cities, where animals are banned and only the rich ever see the sun. He also learns that the government has been lying to the population at large, making them think that they are being held behind the walls to protect them from a plague caused by rabid animals. Mal Gorman will stop at nothing, including the murder of innocent children, to achieve his goals. Narrator Jane Collingwood does a fantastic job of keeping listeners on the edge of their seats. Her lovely English accent and excellent pacing keep listeners enthralled, and she moves seamlessly from one character to the next. A good discussion starter on the topics of greed, power, and propaganda. For fans of science fiction and Susan Collins's Hunger Games trilogy.-Kathy Miller, Baldwin Junior High School, Baldwin City, KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
In a dystopian future London (walled off following the Animal Plague), mutant twins Ellie and Mika are in trouble. Ellie, kidnapped, is presumed dead by everyone but Mika, who must enter a virtual-reality arcade-game contest to win a chance at finding her. The book has plenty of fast-paced action, a deeply disturbing setting, and the expected Big Secret. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
On a future Earth, 12-year-old Ellie pilots a fighter pod from an orbiting space station to England. Although she's determined to reunite with her parents and twin brother Mika, she is recaptured by government agents. How Mika discovers the secrets of their dystopian society and begins to seek a peaceful solution to them propels the exciting, suspenseful plot. In fact, this compulsive read should not be started at bedtime if readers intend to get any sleep. Echoes of Ender's Game and the Tripod Trilogy lend interest to Clayton's skillful blending of science-fiction tropes into an original novel. Transportation pods, monstrous cyborg animals, advanced healing techniques and the scientific study of ESP provide the details that make this world work. The book's climax, although satisfying in itself, does not resolve all readers' questions or tie up the loose ends that provide an enticing glimpse of possibilities for future volumes. Since it ends with a walloping cliffhanger, here's hoping a sequel appears in our not-too-distant future. (Science fiction. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.