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This is a decent YA book but I did not know that going in and no idea it was the first installment of a series. That being said it's a fun romp through a creative world in the middle of the Arctic. Not sure I'll follow this one up with the next story or not but will recommend it to my avid 15 year-old daughter.
3.0 out of 5 starsThis book would be ideal for middle school readers. ...
Reviewed in the United States on 30 June 2017
This book would be ideal for middle school readers. It is a mix of adventure (plane crash on a desert island) and sci-fi (possible alien involvement in the crash). There can be parallels drawn to Lord of the Flies. Westerfield is enough of a name draw that I can see this series doing well with a middle school and even high school reading audience.
An airplane trip halfway across the world. A crazy storm, and electric lightning ripping the plane apart. The survivors? Kids - who seemed to be "chosen" by the lightning before the crash. No adults, no communications, and no way to know where they are. Their survival will mean they will have to trust and depend on each other...and work together to cross the Horizon.
This book is part of a series, and another component is a video game. The game can be played via computer or downloaded via app. I attempted to play the game so that I could say whether or not it added to the book, or had any intrinsic value other than "video game". Unfortunately, registration is required. When I bit the bullet and registered, the system immediately told me it that either my username or password were incorrect. I knew my username was right (I wrote it down), so thought I'd try to change my password. It asked for my email address...then told me it wasn't recognized. Tried this a few times before I gave up. So...I cannot tell you whether the game adds anything to the experience other than frustration. I can say that I took a star off for the experience - if the series is to be marketed as a package with the game, then the game experience should be better than this.
As for the book, it was decent, though not anything earth-shattering. The characters are kids and tend to act mostly like it, though they are fairly intelligent and mature (remember - they were "chosen"). There is an element of what feels supernatural, but may well end up being man-made as time goes on. There is a death in this first book (besides the obvious deaths of literally everyone else on the plane), and it sort of felt like there really wasn't a purpose for this character, and so...he died. The story is reasonably interesting, more so as it moves along. I do like that each of the characters has their strengths, and there are a couple of very strong female characters.
My 9-year-old daughter would probably not read this, but I could see where a few of the boys in her class might enjoy it. It moves along at a decent pace, and there is science and math thrown in, but...I'm not sure it would be for a huge audience. I would recommend checking it out from the library or taking the time to look it over in a bookstore before springing for a copy. And if your decision hinges partially on the game - I would make sure that it is accessible as well.
3.0 out of 5 starsWhere are we? It's certainly not where we should have landed!
Reviewed in the United States on 23 December 2016
Rousing and scary beginning: What is happening to the plane?! What's happening to the adult passengers?! And then the partially dismantled plane--how did that happen?!--crashes in the Arctic. Okaaay. No snow or ice--just jungle; and it's a jungle full of danger and death. The eight young survivors are a diverse and interesting lot, though I liked Yoshi and his katana the most. I knew before I started that it's a series and there'd be cliff hangers. (Hopefully it won't go on and on forever.) Still I hoped that it wouldn't end too drastically, but now I'm worried... On the other hand, there was a hopeful reveal...
It's a multiplatform book,which could be fun for gamers.