From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-In Jenn Reese's science fiction novel (Candlewick, 2012), humans have created different colonies of altered humans to escape the threat of an epidemic. There are mermaids living underwater, equines inhabiting the desert, and aviators living in the sky as a result of genetic engineering. However, the technology that allowed humans to adapt is failing, and Aluna, a brave mermaid, and her friends set out to confront the mad scientist who created it. Although the premise is interesting, the story unwinds tediously, with a lot of effort spent explaining details that don't advance the plot or reveal much about the characters. For example, almost an entire chapter is devoted to Dash teaching Aluna how to build a fire, going into great detail about gathering kindling and using flint to start a spark. Girls will appreciate the hints of romance and the strong female characters, while male listeners will be disappointed in the scarcity of action and violence. Kate Rudd's narration fluctuates effortlessly between the serious tone of the situation and the chirpy attitude of the juvenile characters. Not a first purchase.-Cynthia Grabke, McCormack Middle School, Dorchester, MAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
A warrior heroine with a caring heart, stalwart friends, an edgy futurist subtext and the suggestion of a possible sequel make this a thrilling sci-fi adventure. Imaginative and riveting.
Action-seeking readers should enjoy the many revelations, twists, and hand-to-claw battle sequences, and fierce, take-charge Aluna is the kind of heroine who is easy to get behind. An open-ended conclusion leaves the door to Reese's futuristic world wide open for future adventures.