MacHale, D.J. STORM
March 25th 2014
Copy from the Westerville Public Library
Having escaped from Pemberwick Island in Sylo, Tucker and his friends are trying to figure out who the good guys are. Tucker would have said Sylo, but they have killed his best friend and Tori's father. Along with Kent and Olivia, Tucker takes off to Portland, where the group sees the devastation that the black planes from the Air Force have created. Everyone who was not underground is dead, and whole buildings have been vaporized. In a hospital, they find a doctor and Jon, and hear a weird radio transmission telling survivors to head to coordinates in Nevada. At first, the group stocks up and heads to Boston, where they find a group of about 600 people who are trying to have some kind of cohesive civilization. However, it becomes clear after a while that they might not be working on the side of good, so Tucker and his friends take off again. They end up at Ft. Knox, meet some enemies from their past, and eventually head out to the dessert to see if the radio transmission will shed any light on their plight or whether it is a trap. There are lots of good twists and turns in the plot, so I don't want to give them away, but rest assured that there's lots of adventure, chase scenes, paramilitary action, and massive explosions!
Strengths: I thought that this was plotted especially well-- the pacing, the movement, the character development. There is a clear lack of black and white, but since finding out which side he should be on is one of Tucker's main objectives, it didn't bother me. (In the way that Artemis Fowl did. Who're the good guys?) There is again some nice romance, lots of good dystopian details (shopping at abandoned Targets and WalMarts, teenagers driving around the country in stolen vehicles), and fun science fiction elements. Best of all, this is a great book for my one reader who only wants to reader dystopian books in the first person. And she reads a book a day. Whew. Hard to keep her in things!
Weaknesses: Again, some major deaths. Must say that MacHale does these very sensitively-- they are not gratuitous at all and not only are explained well but further the plot. Almost pushing the envelope with the romance but not quite... just enough detail to make the reader feel very slightly naughty, which is PERFECT.