Peterfreund, Diana. The Forbidden Fortress (Omega City #2)
February 14th 2017 by Balzer + Bray
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
After her adventures in Omega City, Gillian is not happy that her mother has moved back home to take care of her and her brother Eric while their father is off promoting his book. She's especially not happy when her mother starts making noise about taking the children with her to Idaho! Shortly after Howard gets a book with an oddly encoded that he suspects is from Dr. Underberg, their father gets an invitation to speak at the Guidant corporation, which is interested in green energy sources and is interested in the Underberg battery. The children are invited to come along, even Gillian's friend Savannah. Eureka Cove is a planned community with Smart houses and lots of perks, so Gillian is concerned when her father is offered a job teaching history there. It's a great gig, but the corporation seems suspect. When the children intercept radio signals in code and discover that an abandoned island just off the coast of Eureka Cove isn't really abandoned, they worry that the Shepherds are on the move again, and realize that they are once again in danger.
Strengths: I like Peterfreund's writing. This had a lot of good twists and turns, a decent amount of action, and likable, realistic characters. I also think this is a fresh idea-- technologically utopian city, Cold War ties, and a group of people with an academic interest in it all.
Weaknesses: I can't get students to read the first book, and I just don't think the second book will do well in my library. Still not sure why.
What I really think: There is a third book coming out in 2018, but I almost wish that Omega City had been a stand alone title, and that a new set of characters would have been used for a book about a city like Guidant is running.