From School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Left alone at the vet's, Max has had no food or water for two days. All of the other dogs and the people have disappeared. He begins to sink into despair when Rocky, a small dachshund, flies through the room and gives him brief instructions on how to escape the kennel. As the Labrador retriever wearily pinches the latch open using just his teeth, he takes his fill of water and explores his eerily empty environment. Approaching the front entrance, he sees a wolf trying to break in, searching for the small dog that saved him, and their food. Max and Rocky best the wolves, but are later forced to flee. Thus begins their adventure through villages, cities, forests, and waterways in search of their now-missing pack leaders and the missing people. Part Incredible Journey and part Life as We Knew It, this is an interesting blend of genres that allows accessibility to the traditional YA dystopian-future genre. The pacing of the story can be slow at times as it is told in episodic segments characterized by new settings and cultures of dogs. This approach would be appealing to those who may prefer to read in bursts rather than long periods at a time, but keeping track of so many characters and settings could also prove a challenge to some readers. The book is illustrated with a number of images that greatly enhance some chapters. Patient readers ready for thick books will find a lot to enjoy in this cliff-hanging first installment.-Devin Burritt, Wells Public Library, MEα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Each year, golden Labrador Max stays at the vet’s kennel while his family is away. But one day neither the vet nor Max’s family show up to the kennel, and his poodle pal Madame is missing, too. Eventually, Max escapes his cage, only to be attacked by a vicious wolf—but, thankfully, dachshund Rocky, also left behind, saves him. Together the pair set out to find their people, Madame, and answers. Survival means navigating devastated, disconcertingly humanless landscapes to find food and shelter while eluding dangers from wolf packs and subway rats. Their journey leads them to the Corporation, an oppressive dogs-only organization led by the power-mongering Doberman the Chairman, and to escape they must enact a risky plan and recruit other imprisoned dogs. With suspense, action-adventure, and some droll touches—as well as the occasional intense confrontation and some sorrowful, poignant moments—this dystopian, dog-centric series opener offers a fast-paced read, evoking elements of Animal Farm. Vividly detailed modern-day settings and diverse animal characters—if somewhat breed typed—will engage readers, and plenty of mysteries are left unsolved for the sequel. Grades 5-8. --Shelle Rosenfeld
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.