October 11th 2016 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Life on Perses goes from bad to worse after MiNRS. Chris, Elena and the other children have carved out an uneasy existence when they find out that one of the Landers, Thatcher, is going to attack them. Thatcher has a huge hatred of Grinders, and wants to kill them all, and seems to have the support of people on Earth. Chris gets some help from the Oracle, who is a vague entity but will answer his questions on the computer. There's a lot of running, hiding, and fighting, as well as constructing several makeshift homes, all of which get destroyed. When Nazeem is very badly injured, the group appeals to Thatcher to help him, but Thatcher is instead brutal and kills his own doctor who tries to help. There are a few other deaths, and the ending is still not resolved, since the children desperately need to get back to Earth. No mention of book three yet, but maybe in October of 2018.
Strengths: This has a LOT of action and adventure, a clear cut villain, and a great group of characters. There are some very nice moments between Chris and Elena, and I loved how brave Nazeem was. I'm really hoping he survives! It was helpful to show how the children rallied and worked together even though they were mourning their parents, and I also appreciated how most of the children were horrified at the treatment of the Grinders and didn't have any prejudice against them. Pavel is not a pleasant character, but he's a good one to have to balance the feelings of the rest of the group.
Weaknesses: I would still like more information about the colony before the attack and was hoping for more back story. Also, I am still not sure why Thatcher is such a jerk. What's his real motivation.
What I really think: The cover of the third book needs to be green.
I love this picture of Mr. Sylvester. I may have to take another look at Neil Flambe.